One Village Entertainment and Image Entertainment (brands of Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment) will open Winnie Mandela (starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard) in USA theaters on September 6 – a couple of months before another Mandela film will be opening in USA theaters, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom starring Idris Elba (as Nelson) and Naomie Harris (as Winnie). And even though each film’s focus differs (one tells Winnie’s story; the other tells Nelson’s story), comparisons between the two (especially the actors who play the individual roles) will likely happen.
TD Jakes (via his TDJ Enterprises) will “present” Winnie Mandela, which is produced by André Pieterse (Ironwood Films) and Michael Mosca (Equinoxe Films).
An adaptation of Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob’s biography Winnie Mandela: A Life, the film explores the personal and political life of the wife of renowned activist and revered former South African President, Nelson Mandela, telling the story of her struggle for the freedom during the Apartheid era.
The film attracted controversy before a single frame was shot, primarily over the casting of Hudson, and the lack of communication with, and input from the real Winnie Mandela.
Jasmin interviewed director Darrell Roodt, last year for S&A, and you’re strongly encouraged to read that interview HERE. In it, he addresses a lot of the questions many of you have had about the project since we first alerted you to it, like his reasons for casting Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard, the audience backlash against his casting choices, especially by South Africans, the real Winnie Mandela’s objections to the project, what we can expect from the film, and more.
Again, read that interview HERE.
In the below new clip, Hudson channels Winnie while under detention, in Solitary confinement, under the then apartheid regime, a time she described as the darkest part of her life.
Her harrowing isolated confinement lasted for over a year after security police detained her at her Soweto home on May 12, 1969.
She was held at Pretoria Central Prison with a group of other fighters under the notorious Terrorism Act. Her then-husband Nelson Mandela had already been in prison almost seven years by then.