2 user 8 critic

Winnie (2017)

Winnie Madikizela Mandela is one of the most misunderstood and intriguingly powerful contemporary female political figures. Her rise and seeming fall from grace, bear the hallmarks of epic tragedy.


Pascale Lamche
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Winnie Mandela ... Self (as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela)
Anné-Mariè Bezdrop Anné-Mariè Bezdrop ... Self - author of 'Winnie Mandela: A Life'
Zindzi Mandela ... Self - daughter of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Nelson Mandela
Sophie Mokoena Sophie Mokoena ... Self - political editor, South African Broadcasting Corporation
Norah Moahloli Norah Moahloli ... Self - resident of Brandfort
Anton Harber Anton Harber ... Self - former editor of the Weekly Mail
Dali Mpofu Dali Mpofu ... Self - lawyer
Vic McPherson Vic McPherson ... Self - former security branch operative of South African Police
Niel Barnard Niel Barnard ... Self - former head of South Africa's National Intelligence Service
Teboho Murdoch Teboho Murdoch ... Self
Nelson Mandela ... Self (archive footage)
George Bizos George Bizos ... Self - lawyer
Henk Heslinga Henk Heslinga ... Self - former chief of police
Ishmael Semenya Ishmael Semenya ... Self - lawyer
Learn more

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While her husband served a life sentence, paradoxically kept safe and morally uncontaminated, Winnie Mandela rode the raw violence of apartheid, fighting on the front line and underground. This is the untold story of the mysterious forces that combined to take her down, labeling him a saint, her, a sinner.

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User Reviews

A Difficult Subject Well Presented.
8 March 2018 | by SuraditSee all my reviews

I found this biographical documentary to do a fairly good job covering the life of someone who is undoubtedly a person of importance in the history of South Africa and civil rights. For anyone who is unware or minimally familiar with the extent of the government's brutal treatment of the majority of its citizens throughout the history of South Africa, this documentary did not provide a meaningful context for Winnie Mandela's life and the lives of all non-white people under apartheid, but to have done that would have been a daunting, lengthy undertaking.

Another reviewer felt that Winnie's involvement in the death of Stompie Moeketsi and with the Mandela Football club was whitewashed in this documentary. I didn't find that to be the case. Even Desmond Tutu's plea to her to admit whatever she had done and the fact that she was asked to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were documented. Clearly that provided evidence that she was thought to be complicit. But it was also evident that the government, factions within the ANC, Inkhata and Mangosuthu Buthelezi all exploited the charges against her in the media and through other propaganda. A former government official admitted as much.

Did she involve herself in violence? Almost certainly. Did what she may have done compare in any way to the total violence against people under apartheid. Not even close. Were the ANC and Inkhata and the government of the day in a position to throw stones? Hardly.

I'm not excusing what she did or her refusal to acknowledge it. But she was never likely to be given a fair hearing in the public or in any court. The testimony of supposed witnesses was remarkably inconsistent and in many case the same witness told stories that were totally different each time they testified or were interviewed, as was explained in the documentary.

I lived in southern Africa for nearly a quarter century during the time that encompassed the period before and after the independence of Zimbabwe and during the time that some of the ANC leadership was in exile in Lusaka until Nelson Mandela was installed as president of SA. A good deal of what happened during these periods of transition was horrific and there was plenty of blame to go around.. Despite some legitimate questions that can be raised about the behavior of some, or maybe all, of those involved, the fact remains that Winnie Mandela was extraordinarily brave and that her life was extraordinarily difficult. Very few important figures in world history, no matter how revered they may be, could withstand meticulous scrutiny of everything they did without tarnishing their reputations.

This was a good biographical documentary attempting to present a complex, difficult subject who is unquestionably a person of historical significance.

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26 February 2018 (USA) See more »

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