A trailer for the new Nelson Mandela movie starring Idris Elba has been released as the frail freedom fighter enters his seventh week in hospital.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom stars the actor better known to most as Stringer Bell from TV’s The Wire in the lead opposite Bon girl Naomie Harris as Winne Mandela and is produced by the Weinstein Co.

Directed by Justin Chadwick, the film is already generating plenty of Oscar buzz for Elba and the movie is based on Mandela’s own memoir. It was filmed with the blessing of the 95-year-old statesman and it traces his life from childhood to his inauguration as president of South Africa.

While the trailer portrays him as a revolutionary, public enemy, outlaw, radical and liberator it doesn’t shy away from his private life with Winnie telling him: “I heard you had other girlfriends, but I’m different.”

The trailer was released to coincide with Mandela’s 95th birthday which came as he entered a seventh week in hospital, with his supporters heartened by news that the anti-apartheid icon is showing signs of improvement.

Idris Elba in a scene from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

A scene from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.  

Ndileka Mandela said that her grandfather is “steadily improving” and “using his eyes, nodding”.

That message was echoed by President Jacob Zuma who said after visiting his predecessor’s Pretoria bedside he “found him really stable and I was able to say ‘happy birthday’ and he was able to smile”.

British actor Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

British actor Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in Source: Supplied

That is a dramatic turnaround for the ailing peace icon, who just weeks ago was thought to be close to death.

Mandela was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection that had already put him in hospital three times in less than a year.

News of his improvement was a relief elsewhere in the country to South Africans who marked Mandela Day with a panoply of good deeds.

The film examines Nelson Mandela's imprisonment in apartheid-torn South Africa.

The film examines Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment in apartheid-torn South Africa. Source: Supplied 

Biker gangs cleaned streets, volunteers painted schools and politicians spent 67 minutes on worthy projects – all to mark Mandela’s 67 years of public service.

Near Pretoria, Zuma tried to channel Mandela’s cross-community appeal by delivering government housing to poor whites.

“The 67 minutes was the highlight of our day and also the time we spent with grandad and family. It was really a phenomenal day,” Mandela’s granddaughter Ndileka said.


Via news.com.au - http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/

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