Movie not screened as sign of respect
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.
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.