Invictus

Last night hubby and I watched the movie Invictus. It has been out in the video store for awhile but somehow we have never managed to watch it as we felt it may be too emotionally draining for us. Sometimes stories that are set in South Africa, I find hard to watch especially when they are about apartheid and are political. It evokes emotions and anger in me that I don’t always enjoy ( anger that apartheid ever existed and that any person could ever be treated as less than loved by God and precious), and so many times I avoid these movies in the shop. Finally I took it out. As expected it had a huge emotional effect on both hubby and I. We both cried on and off throughout the movie when there were happy moments of reconciliation and love for another and we cried when the moments reflected and brought to remembrance how life was for certain people when we were growing up. Actually I so enjoyed this movie and especially Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. Again it came home to me how powerful forgiveness is in this world and how determining in your heart to love and forgive, to honour and prefer others is what makes this world a better place. That is what Jesus has told us to do from the beginning of time and it is depicted so beautifully in this movie.

The other emotional side for me of course was watching the rugby and seeing the Springboks playing the All Blacks in the World Cup final. This was gut wrenching for me – I am South African by birth and love the country (all my family are there) but I am now a New Zealander in citizenship (yes living in Australia – it is confusing!!!) and so seeing the haka again brought up other emotions as well as hearing both country’s national anthems. It was a brilliant night of viewing – I was uplifted and had a great cry (with hubby sniffling next to me!!) and made me proud to be who I am. I guess South Africa will always be in me and will never leave me – for this I am blessed. I guess New Zealand will always be in me and never leave me – for this I am blessed, and now I have a new country to love and thank for providing us with amazing opportunity. I guess it is possible for us to be more than citizens of one place in our hearts and in our lives. I thank God for the privilege of being able to have experienced all these cultures and places. Amazing that one movie can enlighten and capture our hearts.

Hubby and I did wonder though if we were viewing the movie through different South African lenses to people who have never left South Africa or even travelled out of SA – I’m sure we probably did, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment one little bit.

Here is the poem called Invictus written by Ernest Henley in 1875

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

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