Tuesday, January 5, 2010


The Holiday season for us is a time, among other things, to hit the local multi-plexes and see the current crop of films. 2009 had a bumper-crop of end-of-the-year releases. I want to recommend to our federation, national and local agency leaders a two hour break from all they are doing to see Invictus. Not the best film -- the cynical, dark yet brilliant Up In the Air takes that prize -- not even Clint Eastwood's best effort (think Gran Torino) as he paints the remarkable Nelson Mandela in Saint-like hues.

Riffing off Mandela's commitment to nation-building and overcoming prejudice through uniting South Africa around its previously divisive national rugby team, the Springboks, the story resonated to me in the main because of how it portrayed Mandela's remarkable examples of leadership -- incisive and intuitive, sensitive and daring, with a remarkable willingness to take risks to fulfill his dreams for his country. One critical scene, where Mandela challenged his constituency face-to-face to change a unanimous decision it had just made -- summed his courage up succinctly and brilliantly. Mandela understood his country, understood his people and acted...acted. With the brilliant Morgan Freeman in the lead and Matt Damon as the team captain, and Eastwood at the helm, this was terrific movie-making.

Invictus has much to teach us; and, G-d knows, we have much to learn.


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