Thursday, October 29, 2009

Here Comes The Best Movie Of The Year - Invictus

Over the summer ESPN had their annual ESPY awards show and they highlighted the story of the South African Rugby team that won the World Cup. Dave told me about the story, about how he even cried while watching it in his living room by himself, and I so desperately wanted to see it, but could never find the rebroadcast. I looked for a book to no avail. And then I kind of forgot about it, until they started showing commercials for the film during the World Series.

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,
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.
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.

Real life has the most amazing stories. Oh, and I found the book, go here if you're interested.


Charlotte Lundell said...

i wanna see that..

Dave said...

You gotta tell everyone that reads your blog that I cried by myself in my living room?

Dave said...

Oh... I just did a search and found the original video on youtube. You may want to post it on your blog.

Also... I just re-watched it. And also... I teared up again.