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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Invictus


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be
For 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 tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,

 And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

 It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.

 I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

 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.....

15 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

Haven't seen this movie, good actors in it,plus done by Clint

Carla from The River said...

I always appreciate your recommendations.
Happy 4th of July,
Carla

Arkansas Patti said...

The poem is a reminder of how to deal with todays headlines.
I did see that movie and loved it. Quite powerful.

Red said...

Nice link with the poem and the movie. Great leadership can accomplish miracles sometimes.

Sue said...

Now I know I have to watch this--you always give good recommendations.

Linda said...

I have not seen this but I really enjoyed this post.

Lin said...

Oh, I will have to find this one. I rarely watch movies unless I have read a good review.

Valerie said...

Viewing this movie is a must for me. Thank God there are people like Mandela in the world.

DJan said...

Thank you for the complete poem to enjoy once again, and I also loved that movie. Thank you, TB. :-)

Sally Wessely said...

Great recommendations. Both are such great works.

Bubba Muntzer said...

Interesting. I was just last night listening to Edith Pilaf's "No Regrets," and thinking about why we love songs like that, and like Frank Sinatra's "I Did It My Way." I think they're like the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves to keep from suffocating ourselves with a pillow, which a rational assessment of life would require us to do.

Henley's poem seems like that kind of bravado. Something that makes us feel like we're steering a ship that's actually being driven by chance and by forces beyond our control and even our comprehension.

His Wikipedia article says he wrote it while he was in the hospital battling tuberculosis, and the illness eventually required the amputation of one leg. That changes the meaning of it, for me. What is it to readers of it who never knew that?

Maybe getting up and putting coffee on is more heroic than I knew.

Im Downtown said...

This is on my summer list! Have a great 4th!

Larry said...

Never saw the movie but am a fan of Matt and Clint. I'm going to check to see if I can get it on netflix-thanks.

Debbie said...

sounds like a winner to me. plus, i enjoy older, i have not seen a movie i enjoyed in a good long time!!!

Linda said...

I'm so glad you were wrong about South Africa!