Mon Dec 09,2013


As a mark of respect following the passing of the former South African president and iconic leader Nelson Mandela, tonight’s screening of MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is in memory of Mandela. Nashen Moodley, director of DIFF’s AsiaAfrica programme, talks to us about the great man and the film.

As a South African, Nashen, tonight’s screening of MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM must be particularly poignant for you.

Nashen Moodley: It is. I was 12-years-old when Mandela was released from prison. At the time, I didn’t have a complex understanding of the political events, however, I do remember there being a sort of trepidation of what was going to happen. But in his first speech, he spoke about reconciliation, peace and forgiveness and set the tone of South Africa’s immediate future. Over the next four years, before the first democratic election, the atmosphere was still tense and there were many moments when many observers thought the peace process was in severe danger, but with Mandela leading the way, South Africa made a peaceful transition to democracy.

Mandela is one of the most iconic leaders of our time and has inspired many young leaders. What can audiences take away from the film?

NM: The film, while dealing with Mandela’s life from childhood to his eventual election as South Africa’s president, touches on the key moments of his life, both political and personal that ended up shaping his legacy. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, an inspiring film with really wonderful performances that give us a complex portrait of a dynamic and charismatic hero, who transcended cultures.

Have you ever met him?

NM: No, I’ve never met him, but I was at a youth conference in Durban in the early 1990s, in which he addressed us. I was very moved and inspired by his speech that reminded us of our responsibilities as the future leaders of the nation.

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