The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



Movie explores forgiveness, leadership and reconciliation

Invictus is an incredibly entertaining movie about the power of forgiveness, the importance of sports, the art of transformative leadership and the reconciliation of the races.

Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) congratulates
Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) congratulates Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), captain of the rugby team in Invictus.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, this film is set in South Africa in 1994 as Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), after 27 years in prison, becomes the first black president of a country torn apart by years of violent racism.

Challenged with the task of governing a divided nation, Manela realizes the importance of sports as something that people can all rally around.

He urges the white captain (Matt Damon) of the rugby team to create a World Cup competitor that can win the respect of all South Africans, including the blacks who had previously rooted against them. Mandela sets the example by becoming their biggest fan.

Through his leadership, he demonstrates to the whole country the power of forgiveness to release us from the restrictions of revenge, to remove fear and hatred of enemies, and to open the door to unity. Invictus is one of the best films of 2009 and must be seen, discussed and taken to heart by all religious people (Warner Bros., PG-13 — brief strong language).


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February issue


Embracing diversity