What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this fact-based Clint Eastwood-directed drama (which stars Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman) is an uplifting movie that's age appropriate for older tweens and young teens -- the PG-13 rating is primarily for language (one use of "f--king" and a couple of "s--t"s are the worst of it). Because of its narrow focus -- the movie follows President Nelson Mandela's decision to rally support behind South Africa's nearly all-white national rugby team -- there's no violence except for the rugby itself (which is quite physically aggressive). And Damon's character kisses his wife, but there's nothing more risque than that. Ultimately the movie is both educational and inspiring, providing an excellent lesson about post-apartheid South Africa, national unity, and the universality of sports.
- Families can talk about the movie's themes of national unity and desegregation. Why does Mandela decide to save the rugby team? What does the rugbyteam represent to black South Africans at the beginning of the film,and how does that change throughout the movie?
- What do Pienaar's rugby teammates mean when they that say the new national anthemis a "terrorist song"? What does the movie teach viewers about the history ofSouth Africa?
- The poem "Invictus" is referenced and read more than once in the movie. What do you think the poem means, and why does Mandela give it to Pienaar?