In 1995, South Africa was a nation wounded by many years of institutionalized racism and segregation,and although still divided, elected its first black president: Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman). His new government introduced a new flag and national anthem which appeared to divide the population even more. Most whites wanted to hold on tight to their old ways when they ruled the black majority under the imposed Apartheid, making Mandela’s vision of a united South Africa an almost impossible task to achieve. For this reason, he began every conscious effort to integrate and educate both sides, black and white, by showing them how to make a new beginning and path for their homeland.
With everyone included, there was no time for petty revenges nor resentments. Living what he preached, Mandela reached out to Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), the white captain of the National Rugby Team, and motivated him to win the World Cup as a way to unite all South Africans. They both committed to this goal, took small but important steps, and achieved that almost impossible feat with a simple sport event in an amazing and profound way.
This is the inspiring story as told by director Clint Eastwood in 2009 in what has become one of his finest films in his career.
See also with Morgan Freeman: Glory (1989), Lean On Me (1989), Clean and Sober (1988)
See also with Matt Damon: The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), School Ties (1992)
See also directed by Clint Eastwood: Changeling (2008), Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), Bird (1988)