Watch It: Invictus (Director Clint Eastwood, 2009)
With Hot Press turning to the rugby pitch for this issue, our film pick to round off the weekend is Invictus, the classic that’s considered one of the best depictions of the sport to grace the silver screen. Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela as he tries to unite his divided people following the recent collapse of apartheid. As the Springboks represented white South Africans, part of Mandela’s task was creating a racially integrated team to symbolise a united South Africa, as they bid to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup in their home country. Together with team captain Francois Pieenar (Matt Damon), Mandela gradually brings the nation together in support of the team’s endeavours. Skilfully directed by Eastwood, Invictus compellingly documents the remarkable twists and turns of South Africa’s ’95 campaign. The film earned both Freeman and Damon Oscar and Golden Globe nominations in 2010, with Freeman also scooping the Best Actor gong at the African-American Film Critics Association Awards. Thoroughly engrossing, Invictus is full of inspiring poetic speeches to get you off the couch and onto the pitch. Almost.