Sunday, May 23, 2010


Let me say first that I don't normally like Clint Eastwood movies. They never seem true, and they're always so dark and depressing, and I don't trust his vision. I swore that I would never watch another Clint Eastwood movie after I saw the wretched Changeling. But I was interested in the story of Invictus so we rented it today and watched it.

It's about the South African rugby team's attempt to win the World Cup in 1995. In 1994, during Mandela's first year in office, they were going to disband the Springboks who were especially hated by Black South Africans. But Mandela spoke up for them, telling his supporters that they must be a united South Africa, and in the end, they were not disbanded. Mandela took an interest in the team, believing if he could get Black and white South Africans to cheer for the team, it would help bring the country together.

The movie was good, probably because the story is fabulous and inspiring. What Mandela was able to do—to forgive those who had kept him imprisoned for three decades—is amazing. I don't think I could have done it. As I watched this movie, I thought, wow, I want Mandela to be president of the world. But more importantly, wouldn't it be great if we could all act with our own measure of grace and wisdom as we live our lives? Although his blood doesn't technically run through my veins, I think of Mandela as a grandfather. He is an inspiration to the world.

The title of the movie is taken from a poem by English writer 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.

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All work copyright © Kim Antieau 2008-.