The story goes basically like this: Nelson Mandela became President of South Africa in a huge upset victory after having served almost 30 years in prison for being an anti-apartheid activist. The country still suffered from glaring racial division, and he saw the Rugby World Cup as an opportunity to ease those tensions. South Africa was the host nation, but an enormous underdog to win the title. Nevertheless, he made every effort to ensure that all South Africans, white and black, would be cheering together for their country to win, and against daunting odds, win they did.
This movie, Invictus, is the story of that team and the healing of a nation. It's slated to be released December 11th. Morgan Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela, Matt Damon plays the national team coach Francois Pienaar, and Clint Eastwood directs. Can anyone say Oscar favorite?
Now that you can see through your tears, the movie title comes from the poem by William Ernest Henley:
OUT of the night that covers me,Want to know something else cool? Invictus is latin for unconquerable. In 1875, Henley, from his hospital bed, wrote this poem determined to survive the tuberculosis that forced doctors to amputate his foot and that threatened his life. At that time tuberculosis used to be a death sentence, but Henley went on to live another 30 years after being released from the hospital.
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Real life has the most amazing stories. Oh, and I found the book, go here if you're interested.