Back to IndieWire

Speaking Of Movies About Winnie Mandela…

Speaking Of Movies About Winnie Mandela...

After my item earlier today about yet another new trailer for that that problematic Winnie Mandela film starring Jennifer Hudson (can we all agree that she’s miscast in the role?), one of our sharp readers reminded me about that other Winnie Mandela bio-pic which comepletely slipped my mind.

I’m referring to the 2010 BBC TV movie Mrs. Mandela starring Sophie Okonedo and David Harewood as Nelson.

The film was broadcast in January 2010 in the U.K. and a few months later here the U.S., but unfortuntately it was shown here on a small little viewed cable network with no fanfare. And it has not been released on DVD or has been available on Netflix to my knowledge.

Needless to say, you can probably count on two hands the number of people who have actually seen it in the U.S., but if you’re one of those persons (or someone who saw it on BBC) could you tell us your reaction to it?

But judging from the trailer, it looks like a more low-key (in that typical British TV way), decidely unromantic and introspective view of the Mandelas and their relationship, and Harewood is a more convincing Nelson Mandela than Terrence Howard, that’s for sure.

This Article is related to: News


Luisa Pinto

I watched the BBC dramatization and it trully educated most of us on what Winnie's role was during the activist years. I had read Nelson Mandela's autobiography by then and what my overall interpretation was than he had fallen on Ghandi's footsteps and he was a One Man brain of the the ANC Party. But in this film what I learnt was that if it wasn't for Winnie to fight on Mr Mandela's behalf on the outside world, while he was in prison, with all the struggles of being harass by the police, recruiting members to keep the cause alive and not forgetting the children to raise by herself for 27yrs. His name wouldn't have known he as well as they do today.
They did not romanticized the couple's relationship as it clearly showed how upset and disappointed she a wife would be by not having her husband around as he was gone. Another interesting point was of how she recruited young boys and the kidnapping charges against her. It looked like she was a bit insane at times.
Sophie Okonedo is very amazing talented actress whom played Winnie's caracter with a very sympathetic understanding of the persona. She is an actress to watch! May I suggest "Skin" & "The Slap"


Sophie! :)


I remeber being impressed by this. I think it gave a well rounded account of the struggles that Winnie went through. Particualrly the burden of expectation. The western media tends to show a one -sided depication of winnie being the antithesis of Nelson Mandela. However, the always brilliant, Okonedo really made you empathise with Winnie, with particular regard to the abuse she received from the police. It succeeded, in some parts in depicting why Winnie was understandably Militant; and how resilient she was under challenging circumstances. The accents were pretty decent too. Solid TV film.

ojie king

Again, i think we should hold all opinions until the movie (i.e. the newly edited movie) has been released. Then, AFTER WE HAVE SEEN IT, then we can discuss. I DO NOT THINK IT IS APPROPRIATE AND SMART, to give opinions of a 2hr feature based on a 5 minute trailer. Let the film come out, then we can see.


Been a fan of Okonedo's since Dirty Pretty Things and Hotel Rwanda.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *