Clint Eastwood, with his movie Invictus, notches another success which uses a rugby championship as a means for examining South Africa's transition from apartheid. Two characters are highlighted: Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) the new president of South Africa (1994-1999) and the captain of the Springboks, François Pienaar (played by Matt Damon). After being locked up for 27 years, Nelson Mandela returns to politics. He symbolizes the new South Africa in which Black and White have the same rights, and the same opportunities. Mandela is calm and confident, but fully aware that his country could erupt into political violence with the least provocation. Mandela's strategy is to embrace his opposition, a tactic that distances him from his core supporters. But some of his fellow compatriots disagree with that.
The main example is when the chief of his bodyguards, who asked more men, refuses to work with the white bodyguards of the former president Frederik de Klerk. Part of being a great leader is setting your organization on a new course well before anyone else can see it. At that moment in the movie Nelson Mandela surprises his bodyguard by showing integrity and by saying: “The Rainbow Nation starts here. Reconciliation starts here. Forgiveness starts here too.” Black people think that they will get revenge from all the persecutions and all the acts of racism. But Nelson Mandela as their leader has already a new plan for his Nation: gather these two populations and create a modern country without racism.
To achieve his goal he uses the white population symbol, the Springboks team, as the key factor. He demonstrates here his ability of visioning. Since South Africa is hosting the 1995 World Cup, Mandela throws his support behind the Springboks, who are representing the country. Those who don't oppose the sport's racist undertones have little regard for the team's ability to compete on a world stage. Nelson Mandela uses the rugby team to change...
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