Zindzi: ‘Long walk to freedom’ movie emotional

The film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" about former president Nelson Mandela's life was emotional to watch, his daughter Zindzi Mandela said on Saturday.

"It was very emotional to watch it. I watched it with my mom and husband and Anant [Singh]," she told reporters at a the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, north of Johannesburg.

"The love that kept the family together comes through [in the film]."

The film's producer, Anant Singh, said Mandela's former wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was also touched by the film.

"Mama Winnie was very moved by it. [She said] 'It's beautiful, don't change anything. I love it,'" Singh said.

He told reporters that Madikizela-Mandela described Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie in the film, as an African. "She's got Africa in her."

British actors Idris Elba and Harris, who play the elder statesman and Madikizela-Mandela, are in the country to promote the film. Elba was not present at the briefing on Saturday.

"Idris is in hospital after [having] an asthma attack on the plane last night," said Singh.

'Titanic of struggles'

Tokyo Sexwale, who was also at the briefing on Saturday, said: "Madiba says of his health, 'I am not ill, I'm just old'," Sexwale told reporters.

He described the movie as "the movie of all movies".

"Anant's movie epitomises and captures the history of our people… It captures the titanic of struggles. It is a career-changing movie," Sexwale told the cast.

Singh told reporters that he had shown Mandela snippets of the film and pictures of some of the scenes at his home in Qunu after production had ended last year.

He said Mandela found it amusing. Singh said the anti-apartheid icon asked him "Is this me?" when looking at a picture from a scene where Elba was wearing one the famous Madiba shirts and was sporting grey hair and an ageing face from the make-up.

The film tells the story of Mandela from his childhood days in Qunu, Eastern Cape, to his time in prison on Robben Island and his struggles with the transition from an apartheid state to a democratic country.

The cast is expected to meet fans on Sunday at the film's world premier at the Rosebank mall.

The film also features popular local actors Jamie Bartlett, Sthandiwe and Tony Kgoroge, Terry Pheto, Athandwa Kani and Riaad Moosa.

It will be released in South Africa and the United States on November 28. – Sapa

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