Invictus provides not only a history lesson, but a lesson in how politics should work around the world in my opinion. I know that my knowledge of apartheid in South Africa was minimal at best, though I respected Mandela for his endurance and far-reaching vision for the future of his country. But seeing some of the issues he dealt with after being freed from prison and elected President, I have even more respect for Mandela. Leading by example is something all leaders, big and small, should aspire to.
Through his own determination for a united country, he inspired a rugby team to greatness. And they in turn inspired others to set aside their differences and start to heal the wounds of more than 40 years of segregation and racial violence. Simply amazing.
The title, "Invictus," refers to a poem Mandela used to recite to himself in prison to stay strong in the face of nearly impossible odds - "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." Would that we all had such a strong sense of what is right to guide us through troubled times.
Included with the movie on the DVD is a music video and a feature - "Matt Damon Plays Rugby." Damon went all out for his role as the Springboks' captain Pienaar, working out to gain the physical build and endurance of a rugby player. He obviously earned the respect of the players he worked with on the film as well as the real life individuals the story was based on. Damon went so far as to ride in a bicycle race for charity with the real Pienaar the day before shooting began.
If you're looking for an inspiring and educational story, Invictus should be on your list to check out on DVD and Blu-ray, On Demand, and for download. For more information about the film, check out the official site.