Out of the night that covers me,Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may beFor my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tearsLooms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
It matters not how strait the gate,
I am the master of my fate:
William Ernest Henley
Nelson Mandela (played by Morgan Freeman) survives 27 years of imprisonment. His guide is the Victorian age poem Invictus. He emerges to lead a reconciliation of blacks and whites into a new South Africa. Matt Damon plays the captain of the countries white dominated and beloved rugby team. The team is also a symbol of white racism and despised by the nations blacks. Clint Eastwood finds just the right touch, avoiding an over the top sports movie and a deep psychological analyses of character motivations. The result is exciting action in a sport that most American wouldn't have a clue about, and a truly dramatic portrayal of real political leadership. It was also something that I found downright inspiring. I recall teaching world history to my senior high students and feeling that the apartheid state in South Africa was as intractible a problem as the issue of Palestine, the Arabs and the Jewish state. Sometimes it's nice to be wrong.
The poem and the movie are both oldies but goodies.I highly recommend them both.....