Invictus is a biographical film directed by Clint Eastwood. It talks about the true story of Nelson Mandela, charismatic activist of anti-apartheid, that has been president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. This film doesn't tell his early life but it opens with the release of Mandela from Robben Island prison, where he stayed for 26 years as a political prisoner, in 1990. He distinguished himself for his political activism and four years after his release, Mandela, became the first South Africa president to be elected in a free elections (for the first time went to vote also women).
The film shows the first years of Mandela's presidency and in particular the try to bring his people together through the universal language of sport. Needless to say that, at that time, society of South Africa was divided into two part: the Afrikaner, english-speaking white people, and the black people; both groups shared a love for the sport but in different ways. In fact, while the Afrikaner followed rugby and were a fan of Springbok, black people played football and, when they went to stadium to see a rugby match, they sat in a poor area and cheered for the opposite team. So, since most Afrikaners felt they were losing their country's identity, Mandela, believing that sport could become also the solution for that problem, had the idea of unite black and white people keeping the Springbok name and using the upcoming world cup as an example of how to overcome past apartheid of South Africa. One afternoon Mandela invites Francois Pienaar, captain of the Springbok, to tea; They first talked about Mandela's time in prison and then, talking about rugby, the president explained to Francois that a win for his team in the world cup could have an huge importance for South Africa by piecing Afrikaners and the natives.
In June 1995, led by captain Pienaar, Springbok faced in the final the All Blacks and won. This wasn't only the victory of a team but of a whole country.
I think this film remember events of contemporary history that are rarely deepened in schools and are too often forgotten by people. Very interesting is the strange meeting between politics and sport that makes this film sports, biographical and dramatic. Finally I'd like to say that I reckon the story is exciting but it doesn't show what was the really and inhuman conditions of natives.