Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

2013 PG-13 2h 19m Blu-ray / DVD

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

2013 PG-13 2h 19m Blu-ray / DVD
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Golden Globe-winner Idris Elba stars as Nelson Mandela in this in-depth biopic that portrays the groundbreaking South African leader from his rural childhood through his long imprisonment to his election as the country's first black president.
Blu-ray DVD Streaming
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
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age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is a biopic about the South African leader Nelson Mandela, and includes some disturbing violence. We see riots in the streets, with military shooting citizens, people being set on fire, and wounded, bleeding children. Winnie Mandela is handled roughly, abducted, thrown into prison, slapped around and generally mistreated. Nelson kisses and has sex with three women, two of whom he marries, though no nudity of any kind is shown. There's some rare language including a brief use of "f--k" and one use of "s--t." Long Walk to Freedom is not a very well-made movie, but teens may be inspired by it to look further into Mandela's remarkable life. I

Sexual Content

Mandela kisses and sleeps with three women. No nudity of any kind is ever shown. With his first wife, he kisses and touches her leg; she insists that they must "wait until they are married." While married to her, he meets a pretty woman on the street and they have sex in a dark alley. After being divorced, he meets Winnie, and is shown kissing and having sex with her.


There are several newsreel-like scenes of riots in the streets, with the military shooting at civilians, and rioters throwing Molotov cocktails. Children are shown wounded and bleeding. Men are set on fire. Winnie Mandela is forcibly taken from her home and mistreated in prison, slapped and pushed around. The cops beat a black man to death, and some blood is shown. Nelson Mandela is shown boxing with an opponent. He fights with his first wife, telling her to "shut your stupid mouth." There are explosions as freedom fighters try to fight the establishment. There are several arguments and tense scenes of prison life.


"F--king" is used once, but it's shouted during a noisy scene, and in a heavy accent, so it's hard to make out. "S--t" is heard once, much more clearly. "Piss" and "bitch" are also used.

Social Behavior

The movie's main theme is that people everywhere, no matter what color, deserve to be equal, ("one man, one vote"), with no compromises. Also that sacrificing oneself for the greater good is a generous and brave act. An epilogue asserts that people are not born hating each other; they must be taught. They can also be taught to love.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Minor characters are shown smoking cigarettes in the background. In one scene Mandela and a friend go to a bar and the friend gets drunk and then is abused by police.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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