As if to perpetuate the legend once its hero was dead, Long Walk to Freedom the biopic of Nelson Mandela had its first showing in London on December 5th 2013, as the great man passed on. The movie had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2013.
The original movie soundtrack, released by Universal Records, is available in Australia, featuring 18 tracks by various artists, some performed by the original cast, and others reaching back to the years of Mandela’s toughest struggles. There is a pulsating drum solo Amuck, from Art Blakey, Bob Marley and the Wailers deliver their torch song War and 1970s spoken word performer Gil Scott-Heron announces that The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. The recording also features a song composed for the movie by U2 amongst traditional songs like the lullaby Thula Baba, Jikela Emaweni by The Manhattan Brothers and some super jazz like Quickly In Love by South African music theatre icons Todd Matshikiza and, Pat Williams.
The South African national anthem Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika rounds off the collection, performed by the original cast.
The movie is not yet screening in Australia, but by all appearances, the soundtrack is not just incidental music. It enhances the power of the tale. Some of the tracks would no doubt be understood better when we know what is being illustrated.
An album with a wonderful mix of music tracing Mandela’s life, that will be better understood when framed in the context of the movie.
Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney©