Winnie hopping mad about movie showing her life

2011-07-05 00:00

WINNIE Madikizela-Mandela is hopping mad about the film Winnie, which is due for release in soon, but director Darryl Roodt remains unruffled.

“I hope in my heart that Winnie will like it once she’s seen it,” Roodt said yesterday.

The film, which is in the final stages of production, has drawn criticism from various quarters.

Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyers threatened to have the production cancelled, while the Creative Workers’ Union of SA was upset because American actors are portraying South Africans.

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson plays Madikizela-Mandela and Terrence Howard former president Nelson Mandela.

“The purpose of the film is to present a better, fully rounded perspective on Winnie the person,” said Roodt.

“There are people who see her as the mother of the nation, but others who feel the opposite.

“Winnie focuses on the woman who kept her husband’s name alive in the ANC during his years in prison. She sacrificed a lot … and people get to know that side of her in the movie.

“We see former President Mandela as the hero, but forget about Winnie.”

However, Madikizela-Mandela told CNN she was not approached about the film. “I am still alive and think it is disrespectful to come to South Africa, make a film about my struggle and represent it as a romantic life of Winnie Mandela.”

Roodt has confirmed that Madikizela-Mandela was not approached to make a contribution to the film.

“The film is a drama, but with a romantic twist. And in the end their different standpoints drove the two (Madikizela and Mandela) apart. The movie is about these reasons. While not shying away from the controversial side of Winnie’s life, it puts these events in a different light.”

The film is based on a biography by journalist Anna-Marie du Preez Bezdrob and was shot in Cape Town and Johannesburg and on Robben Island.

Roodt said it will probably be released later this year, but a date has not yet been set.

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