Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

There are many things one can say about Invictus: about Freeman’s portrayal of Mandela, Eastwood’s directorial prowess and editorial conceits (e.g., masculinity and its transformation through individual experience), the film’s characterization of post-Apartheid South Africa, and the accuracy or inaccuracy of its portrayal of the actual story of the South African national rugby team’s, the Springboks’, stunning rise to victory in the 1995 World Cup. What interests me most, though, is its depiction of mass affect and collective emotion, which are portrayed in two of the main variants these take in today’s world: sports and politics. [. . .]

The film’s crystal moments, those affect-carrying plateaus or peak moments embodying its main tensions, are those surrounding the combat on the field and its emanation into the crowd: slowed down crunches of bodies against bodies (unprotected, unlike in American football), sweat leaping between them out of their crushing impact, rapid cuts between on-field plays that occur too quickly to be followed and can only be enjoyed as sheer spectacle, and crowds leaping for joy, singing, applauding, and dancing, their emotions spreading like waves across the stadium, the streets, and the nation. [. . .]

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