In many ways an old-fashioned miniseries, “Madiba” (a term of reverence used in reference to Mandela) spans decades, dutifully beginning with Mandela’s youth and his father’s dying wish that he be educated. The story progresses through his rise to lead the African National Congress, imprisonment and eventual release, triumphing against the system that oppressed him.
Airing in two-hour installments, and directed by Kevin Hooks, “Madiba” also pulls the curtain back on the period’s South African politics, including assassinations and other tumult that almost invariably resulted in harsher crackdowns on the black population.
“We need to put these people in their place,” one Prime Minister advocates, determined to crush the equality movement by arresting i5w leaders. That eventually leads to Mandela’s incarceration, spending a torturous 27 years in prison, where he maintained his defiance…