Written by 
Based on Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin

Director Clint Eastwood
Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon

Category    Communication,Employee Engagement,Goal Setting,Leadership,Motivation& Recognition,Organizational Commitment,Talent Management,Teams& Coaching      


Warner Bros. Pictures



Language English
133 min

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The latin word “Invictus” or in english translation “Undefeated” or “Unconquered” is the title of a biographical sports drama film (2009) of the famous and well known actor Clint Eastwood, in his 30th directorial attempt, with Morgan Freeman (Nelson Mandela) and Matt Damon (Francois Pienaar), featuring in the main roles. The movie is based on real facts of Nelson Mandela’s life, a great leader and one of the best role models of the whole humanity that is worth to remember and imitate! Eastwood was stimulated by the book, “Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the game that made a nation” written by John Carlin.

The story is “unfolded” in South Africa in 1995 (just after the end of the apartheid era), where the Rugby World Cup takes place.  When Mandela got elected as the first black President of South Africa (1994) and during his service, he visited the stadium where a rugby match was taking place, between Springbocks (South Africa) and England. At that match, Nelson Mandela got disappointed as he realised that blacks were cheering for England and most of white fans of Springbocks were predisposed negatively. So, he agrees to meet with the captain of the nation’s rugby team (Springbocks), Francois Pienaar. The two of them join forces and set as a goal the victory of Springbocks at the final match of the World Rugby Cup in 1995.

Mandela’s and Pienaar’s target was to bring change. The second starts training his team players and makes efforts to challenge them. Both Mandela and Pienaar count on the team spirit, engagement, commitment and motivation. (A similar situation is observed in Organisations when employees get disengaged and become less dedicated towards their work. It is Management’s duty to bring out the best of them).  Players become motivated and begin to communicate effectively with their fans. The whole nation finally supports Springbocks.

During the last game of Rugby World Cup (South Africa Vs New Zealand), the whole nation cheers for South Africa. The game finished with score 15-12 for Springbocks and Mandela along with Pineaar celebrated the victory of their team.

Contributed by: Maria Christofi