Idris Elba at Long Walk to Freedom premiere

British actor Idris Elba attends the premiere of the Nelso Mandela biopic ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ in Johannesburg, praising his fellow actors’ commitment to the representation of the former South African president.

Idris Elba almost didn’t make it to the red carpet for the opening of Long Walk To Freedom, the new film from director Justin Chadwick in which Elba plays Nelson Mandela. He was rushed into hospital in London after suffering an asthma attack on the plane shortly before it was due to take off for Johannesburg.
He made it just in time to be embraced by Mandela’s wife Graca Machel saying, “Let me hug my husband”.
The 150 minute biopic was shown simultaneously for the first time on three screens in Johannesburg in front of an invited audience including three generations of the Mandela family and one of his former cell-mates.
Mandela’s life story is an epic and producer Anant Singh hopes it will inspire people to struggle to justice. Born to be a leader of his Xhosa tribe, Mandela – known more familiarly to South Africans as ‘Madiba’ – studied law but became committed to the struggle for racial equality.
Jailed for life for opposing white minority rule and banished to an island prison, he was soon elevated to a status that approached sainthood.

Released from prison after serving twenty-seven years, he was elected president in South Africa’s first truly democratic election and oversaw a huge social change.
At the premiere Winnie Mandela, who was married to Nelson Mandela throughout his incarceration and campaigned tirelessly for his release reminded the gathering, “We should remember where we come from and that this freedom was hard earned. ”
‘Long Walk to Freedom’ is a totally South African production apart from the two British actors, Idris Elba and Naomi Harris in the title roles.


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