So says this exclusive from In Contention. Not “Mandela.” Not “Playing The Enemy.” Not “The Human Factor.” But “Invictus.” That’s latin for “invincible,” which I guess makes sense – it’s more a sports drama about an “invictus” underdog rugby union team than a Mandela biopic. Though at first I wondered if they were just copying the title of that Mark Wahlberg football movie except just making it in latin and therefore more high-brow sounding, In Contention points out it’s actually the name of a a short poem written by William Earnest Henley and published in 1875. Apparently the poem “was a great source of inspiration for Mandela.”
Who knows if the title will stick, though. Last year Eastwoood’s Changeling was briefly The Exchange and then it went back to the original. I still believe, as unfortunate as that film was, that The Exchange probably would have worked better. And I’m not a huge fan of Invictus either (doesn’t quite roll off the tongue), though I obviously can’t contextualize it in the film.
If you feel like it, you can read the whole poem below. And on an aside, a reader of In Contention pointed out that the last verse of poem was actually Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s last words.
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 unbow’d.
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.