Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Synopsis: Nelson Mandela is a South African lawyer who joins the African National Congress in the 1940s when the law under the Apartheid system's brutal tyranny proves useless for his people. Forced to abandon peaceful protest for armed resistance after the Sharpeville Massacre, Mandela pays the price when he and his comrades are sentenced to life imprisonment for treason while his wife, Winnie, is abused by the authorities herself. Over the decades in chains, Mandela's spirit is unbowed as his struggle goes on in and beyond his captivity to become an international cause. However, as Winnie's determination hardens over the years into a violent ruthlessness, Nelson's own stature rises until he becomes the renowned leader of his movement. That status would be put to the test as his release nears and a way must be found to win a peaceful victory that will leave his country, and all its peoples, unstained.
Director(s): Justin Chadwick
Production: The Weinstein Co.
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 29 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
141 min

I dream the same dream

night after night.

I am coming home

to the house in Orlando.

Everything is the way it was.

They are all there.

All the ones that I have loved

most in the world.

They seem fine,

getting on with their lives.

But they do not see me.

They never see me.

Your youth,

your beauty,

your strength

is not yours to hold.

You alone are small,

your people are mighty.

Now go!

You are a man.

Leave as a man!

Now I was a man

with duties to my people.

My father had given me

the name Rolihlahla...


I didn't want to make trouble.

I wanted to make

my family proud of me.

Out of the way, boy.

Stop, Kaffir.

- Come on, Kaffir.

- Yes, sir.

Sorry, sorry.

Court in 15 minutes.

- 15?

- 15 minutes.

- Mr. Mandela, sir, you promised us.

- Yes, yes.

But the people are losing hope

in their land.

How can I help you?

I am not a thief.

Mrs. De Kock, my client,

your former maid, has been accused

of stealing these items

of clothing from your bedroom.

Am I to be spoken to like this

by a native?

He is counsel

for the defense, ma'am,

but if you feel uncomfortable,

you may address your answers to me.

Thank you, Your Worship.

Mrs. De Kock, how do we know

that these items are not

my client's herself?

I don't understand.

What is he saying?

Well, what I am saying is

can you identify these items

as yours, Mrs. De Kock?

Well, you seem... unsure.

I will not be spoken to like this,

it's disgusting.

If I'd known I was going to be

so insulted in a court of law,

I would never have come.

Your Honor, I move that...

Yes, yes. Case dismissed.


you must carry my bag here.

- You are lazy.

- Madiba?

I hear you're a man to watch.

Maybe I should sell tickets.

You don't come to

Congress meetings.

Why would I want to do that?

Well, do you know

anything about us?

You know anything about

the African National Congress?

If you went out today

and said, "Follow me,"

nobody would follow you,

so why should I?

Do you like it when the Boers

are calling you "boy"?

When I am better qualified

and better dressed and

richer than they are,

they won't call me boy anymore.


You're right. We need him.

What does a hotshot

lawyer know that I don't know?

I know that the law says

you can only have relations

with members of your own race.

Am I a member of your own race?

- Mr. Jackson.

- Pencil test.

See, this is the official method

of establishing racial type.

The pencil stays in my hair.

I am a black man.

- Now me?

- Hm...

The pencil stays in your hair.

You are black and can officially

have relations with me.

Always works.

My darling, my darling.

You must wear my jacket.

Then I can steal a kiss.

Yeah, yeah,

it's you that I want to see!

- You?

- Yeah, see you, my friend.

This one, you take her home, my man.

She's lovely.

Are you going to be fine, yeah?

- Never better.

- How many fingers?



Hey, you!

I said you!

- Hey?

- Where's your pass, eh?

Ah... Oh.

- I left it at home, boss.

- No, no, no, no, no.

You come with me, come on.

Hey, don't put up a fight.

Come with me.

- Come, boy.

- That's right. Out you come.

The kaffir's got no pass,

so we're gonna put him in a cell.

- Let's go.

- Come on, Kaffir.

- Get up, get up,

- Get up!

Get up.

- That's my shoe!

- Kick him, man.

That's it, get up.

Get him up.

Jackson Glada.

Questioned at Jeppe Station.

- Yes.

- No pass.

'Cause of death,

congenital syphilis.

Everything is in order here.

No, he was beaten to death

in Jeppe Station.

I have the medical affidavits

for his injuries.

Are you accusing the

police of lying?

I have medical affidavits.

I suggest that you start showing

some respect of the law, boy.

And I have work to do.

Good day to you.

That's not law.

There's no law for us.

Who did Jackson ever hurt?

I mean, what did he do

to deserve what they did to him?

Thank you.

And nobody cares.

Nobody gives a damn.

Why are you telling me?

Something has to change.

- And how should that happen?

- Education, hard work, pride.

No, no, Nelson,

you can't do it on your own.

None of us can.

That's me, and that's you,

and that's Oliver...

and that's Kathy.

And each one of us are

too little to do anything.

But together...

we have the power.


I don't smoke.

Do you think I should join the ANC?

I think they like to talk.

And what about you?

What do you like to do?


- Not until we're married.

- Mm-hm.

Jab, jab.

One, two, ja.

One, two.

Yeah, that's it, very nice.

Come on, chief.

One, two, one, two.

Where's the jab? Where's the jab?


All right, OK.



I see you're working very hard.

Yes. Must fight.

- Tomorrow morning.

- What's that?

Boycott the buses?

Yeah, you see, you talk

to people about freedom

and justice, they don't listen,

but put their bus fare up by

a penny, that they care about.

Help me.


- Let me see.

- There we go.

Bring your new wife.

Nelson, you can't work all night.

I'm going to bed now.

- I'll come later.

- You need to give yourself a rest.

You can't do everything.

Leave some things to God.

Does your god want your

children to go hungry?


I don't see your god

caring for our people.

Seems to me that

he is looking after the Boers.


Evelyn, go to bed.

Go to bed.

Let the buses run empty!

Don't pay!

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

William Nicholson

William Benedict Nicholson, OBE, FRSL is a British screenwriter, playwright, and novelist who has been nominated twice for an Oscar. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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