13 December 2009

Scrum Central Meets Nelson Mandela

This blog's name alludes to my passion for rugby. So when I heard that a Clint Eastwood film about rugby was opening, and featuring Matt Damon even, I reacted like Jesse Jackson when he sees a TV camera. I would have broke down brick walls to see this movie. Fortunately daughter was at a slumber party last Friday, so it was guys' night out for me and #1 son, who's old enough now that he can sit through serious fare like this and appreciate it, I think. I had a feeling we were in for something special.

And I was right on all counts. Beyond the brilliance of the rugby, it was inspiring to watch the leadership of Nelson Mandela (played by an astonishingly good Morgan Freeman) and Francois Pienaar, captain of South Africa's almost all-white national rugby team (Matt Damon, with an amazingly accurate accent), as they work together to implement Mandela's vision of forgiveness and national unity. And, oh, BTW, also manage to beat New Zealand's All Blacks, the world's scariest rugby team, for the 1995 world championship.

The rugby action was wonderful, of course. The eye candy was just enough to add an extra little zing of interest. I will watch rugby even if played by kangaroos. But put God's Own Sport into such a setting, at a pivotal point in history, with two gifted leaders united in purpose to bring reconciliation to their strife-torn country, and you have a picture of inspiration that is rare indeed. I couldn't help analogizing their brave efforts to overcome their country's deep-seated hostile racism with current efforts in the United States and the LDS Church to overcome similarly deep-seated homophobia. Mandela's patience and forgiveness was truly an example of the calm foresight and focus on the goal which we should all try to maintain.

Go see this movie. You will be inspired, I promise. And if you're really lucky, you'll catch the rugby bug as well.


Scrumhalf Connection said...

Great review, thanks for posting. I am heading to see the movie tomorrow night and am very excited!


Urban Koda said...

I need to admit to wiping away a tear after watching that trailer again.

I was raised under apartheid, on the privileged white side of things, and then on my mission got to hear about the side of it which was censored from the news and other media.

I also had the privilege to hear President Mandela speak while on my mission. Nothing short of inspiring.

Hoping to get to see the movie this coming weekend.


Julie said...


I hope you don't mind me contacting you via your blog, but when I saw your recent post about Invictus, I thought you might want to know about the 46664 Bangle initiative.

This project supports the 46664 Campaign of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. As you probably know, Nelson Mandela’s prison number was 46664 (prisoner number 466, imprisoned in the year ’64). This number is now an international icon for his broader humanitarian work worldwide. The 46664 Bangle supports this by empowering those affected by HIV AIDS and providing employment in South Africa through the production of the bangles and the handmade packaging.

Copper, silver, gold and platinum bangles bearing the 46664 number are engraved with a digital imprint of Nelson Mandela’s hand, as well as a unique serial number to track online the impact of the bangle purchase. Aside from the positive impact in South Africa, the jewelry also carries a deeper global message about HIV AIDS prevention and social consciousness.

Prices start at $19.99 and can be ordered online at http://www.theBangle.com.

There is also a facebook fan page for The 46664 Bangle http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-46664-Bangle/195529711978

Any support in telling others about the 46664 Bangle project is much appreciated.

And, by the way, I LOVED Invictus. I'm a South African who was there for the final and they did a great job of capturing what it was like to be in SA at that time, not to mention the heartstopping final itself!

Thank you.