Jennifer Hudson to play Winnie Mandela…
I recently learned that the month of March has been dubbed Women’s History Month. With that being said, I find it ironic that I came across a story that informed me that Winnie Mandela’s life would be depicted in a movie. This biopic is currently in the works and will portray the ex-wife of the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and how she continued the fight against apartheid once her now ex-husband was jailed.
She is widely respected for her stand against apartheid and her involvement with the African National Congress Women’s League in South Africa. And she is also recognized for her alleged acts of adultery and leading a South African mafia.
Winnie Mandela was an unstoppable woman that overcame all types of adversity growing up, beginning with the death of her mother when Mandela was only 8 years old. Then there was her fighting against the odds, receiving a B.A. in International Affairs from one of the most prestigious universities in South Africa. The fact that apartheid was heavily apparent coupled with her being a woman did not matter to her. Winnie refused to let the oppressors stop her.
Chicago native and Oscar award winning Jennifer Hudson recently confirmed her role of Winnie Mandela in the upcoming film, titled Winnie. There has been a bit of controversy surrounding this film, stemming from it’s subject. Wilson Morales of BV on Movies reports that Mandela threatened to sue filmmakers for one, not getting her consent to do said film and two, because they cast an American to play the role of a South African woman. The producer, Darrell Roodt, also known for his 1992 work Sarafina!, has reportedly denied Mandela access to the script for review, therefore, receiving no consent from her.
Fellow South Africans share Mandela’s disgust in the filmmakers’ choice. Jonathan Clayton of the Times Online reports that the Creative Workers Union of South Africa said that using foreign actors to tell the country’s stories undermined efforts to develop a national film industry. Basically, South Africans are not receiving the opportunities within the avenues they are trying to create because they are being given to American actors.
This depiction of Winnie Mandela is the story a lot of us have not heard, especially since it was her ex-husband who was placed in the spotlight rather than she. Hudson comments in the above video that there were no ill intentions in the creation of this film and that she would hope Ms. Mandela to be proud in the telling of her life story.
As for Hudson, ever since her newly acquired fame beginning on the stage of American Idol, her name has typically been associated with good things. Some would argue that this is a good role for the Academy Award winning actress to grow in while others feel she is not fully capable of portraying such a woman just yet.
Personally, I feel that Hudson is an actress that shows promise. Her personality proves to me that she does not want to be associated with poor work so that leads me to believe that she will give this role her all. In an interview she tells how she spent 5 days in solitary confinement to help prepare her for the role, an experience she claims to never forget.
I’m anxious to see the film, which has yet to receive a release date, as well as see what the critics will have to say once Hudson delivers.
Take a look at the trailer below and tell me what you think: