DT Herbert’s review published on Letterboxd:
Dark Days #2
Dull. So many different avenues they could have taken this, but it’s so by the book it becomes a slog to watch. Mandela is inherently connected to the politics of apartheid, and the film only examines those in the broadest strokes, and stops short of providing deeper insight into Mandela beyond hero worship. The many sections involving the man himself describing his country, his childhood, growing up, and becoming political have great little tidbits, but it’s all matter of fact, there’s little to truly examine at such a surface level approach. Even the few dents in Mandela’s character they show largely go ignored as soon as they are mentioned, rather than getting moments of reflection. As a study of the titular man, it lacks an urge to dive deeper into his soul and mind. As an examination of the movement to end apartheid, it feels thin, lacking enough accounts, perspectives, and analysis to feel like the filmmakers are painting a portrait of this moment in history, rather than just saying, “hey, this happened.” Both subjects deserve a better treatment.