Movie not screened as sign of re­spect

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NELSON MANDELA 1918-2013 - NONI MOKATI WEEKEND AR­GUS REPORTER

THE cur­tains came down at cine­mas coun­try­wide yes­ter­day as film producers de­cided not to screen the movie Man­dela: Long Walk to Free­dom.

“We are saddened by news of our beloved Madiba’s pass­ing, and join the rest of our coun­try and the world to hon­our his mem­ory. We have de­cided along with the producers not to screen the movie Man­dela: Long Walk to Free­dom as sched­uled to­day as a sign of re­spect to the mem­ory of our beloved Tata,” Ster- Kinekor an­nounced on its web­site, while Nu Metro did the same. Ster-Kinekor added that nor­mal screen­ing would re­sume to­day.

But to­day could spell a dif­fer­ent story. The movie houses are ex­pect­ing a large turnout and have made con­tin­gency plans to ac­com­mo­date large num­bers.

The movie, which was re­leased two weeks ago, has gar­nered pos­i­tive re­views. Just af­ter its pre­miere in the US on the day Nel­son Man­dela died, Kevin Wil­liams of the Wash­ing­ton Times de­scribed it as an “ex­cel­lent film that en­velops the au­di­ence with the im­por­tance of what is hap­pen­ing on-screen…”

But de­spite the an­nounce­ment, peo­ple across the coun­try were adamant that they wanted to watch the biopic.

On the Ster- Kinekor Face­book ac­count, many wanted to know when they could watch the movie. Oth­ers ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment, while some felt it was a good move.

Cherne Cullen wrote: “This movie was made to cel­e­brate Madiba’s life. I think all the other movies should be can­celled to­day and only Long Walk to Free­dom shown.”

Pho­laki Mahlase wrote: “To­day the ma­jor­ity of us de­cided to go to your the­atres to Nel­son Man­dela movie (sic) only to be re­turned. Sad.”

Guilty Sammy said: “Thank you SK ( Ster- Kinekor) with the kind RE­SPECT you are giv­ing to the NA­TION.”

On Twit­ter, oth­ers wanted to know if they would be re­funded.

The movie the­atres of­fered a re­fund or read­mis­sion. WHO will for­get Madiba singing Twin­kle Twin­kle Lit­tle Star or laugh­ing with chil­dren crowded around his knee? Of all the de­pri­va­tions while jailed on Robben Is­land, the lack of chil­dren’s laugh­ter was the great­est.

Save the Chil­dren South Africa said Madiba was of­ten quoted as say­ing there could be no keener rev­e­la­tion of a so­ci­ety’s soul than the way it treated its chil­dren. He knew that in­vest­ing in chil­dren was in­vest­ing in South Africa as a whole. He demon­strated that com­mit­ment many times, by do­nat­ing his No­bel Peace Prize money to chil­dren’s char­i­ties in 1993, and again in 1995, by giv­ing one-third of his pres­i­den­tial salary to es­tab­lish the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Fund.

Chair­man Neven Hen­dricks said: “For cen­turies to come, those who seek a voice will bor­row his. Those who find them­selves in dark­ness will use his words as bea­cons. His fun­da­men­tal re­spect for hu­man­ity and his love for chil­dren will con­tinue to in­spire South Africans and peo­ple of other na­tions to know that a bet­ter fu­ture is al­ways pos­si­ble. As South Africans we must re­flect on his life and recom­mit to build­ing a na­tion he would be proud of, in which all chil­dren are born equal and given the strength to walk their own road.”

Smile Foun­da­tion, co­founded by Man­dela, would con­tinue to care for South Africa’s chil­dren, pro­vid­ing plas­tic and re­con­struc­tive surgery.

“The Smile Foun­da­tion fam­ily pledges to con­tinue to bring smiles to the faces of chil­dren, though in­side our hearts are filled with tears,” foun­da­tion co-founder Marc Lub­ner said.

“His love of life, par­tic­u­larly his love of chil­dren, will be per­pet­u­ated in the foun­da­tion’s on­go­ing ef­forts.

“We feel the loss of his pass­ing, but re­mem­ber with joy the many mo­ments shared at the hos­pi­tal bed­sides of so many chil­dren who, be­cause of their Madiba, were able to un­dergo life-chang­ing surgery.”

Unicef ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor An­thony Lake said Man­dela de­voted him­self to chil­dren. In 2002, he urged heads of state at the UN Spe­cial Ses­sion for Chil­dren to en­dorse in­creased health and ed­u­ca­tion re­sources for chil­dren. In 2004, through his foun­da­tion, with the Ham­burg So­ci­ety and Unicef, he launched the Schools for Africa cam­paign to en­rol two mil­lion chil­dren in schools.

PIC­TURE: LEON MULLER

HEART TO HEART: Nel­son Man­dela meets a young South African on an Ed­u­care road­show that toured Pel­i­can Park, Philippi, Sur­rey Es­tate, Elsies River and Ruyterwacht in 1998.

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