The 12 Best Documentaries About Nelson Mandela

Oct 16, 2023 | Best Of, Celebrities, History, Political

Nelson Mandela is a global icon and his struggle for freedom left an indelible mark on world history. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, and now is the time to learn more about his life story through some of the best documentaries ever made. This list showcases twelve must-watch documentaries that tell Mandela’s inspiring journey of courage, resilience, and justice. From inspiring profiles, to intimate interviews, you will get an up close and personal look at the man himself and his remarkable life. Get ready to be captivated by these incredible documentaries about Nelson Mandela!

1. Nelson Mandela & Apartheid in South Africa Documentary

This documentary brings to life the story of Nelson Mandela’s incredible journey from youth in South Africa to being one of the most influential leaders of modern history. It takes viewers on a gripping journey through the tumultuous years that he endured and highlights his courage and resolve to fight for freedom and justice for all. The documentary is narrated in Mandela’s own words, giving viewers insight into his beliefs and his journey from political prisoner to president of the first fully democratic nation on the African continent. Through interviews with key figures in his life as well as archival footage, the filmmakers paint a vivid picture of this remarkable man and his enduring influence across generations.


2. How Mandela Changed South Africa – From Prison To President

A powerful and personal depiction of Nelson Mandela as he campaigns for South Africa’s historic first democratic election.


3. Nelson Mandela’s Life Story

The documentary is an extraordinary piece of archival material and provides a comprehensive overview to what made Mandela so remarkable. It also highlights the struggles, achievements, and legacy of this giant iconic figure. Furthermore, it offers us invaluable insight into the historical context that shaped his life story. From beginning to end, this documentary celebrates Mandela’s life as one of the most renowned and influential leaders of our time. As we are taken through his journey from a rural lawyer to a political prisoner, then president of South Africa, it’s hard not to be moved by Mandela’s extraordinary life story. It was this strength and determination which made him an international icon, inspiring millions around the world to fight for justice and equality.


4.The Fight for Freedom BBC Full Documentary 2013 Nelson Mandela

In his lifetime, Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013) was a beloved and admired freedom fighter who was highly regarded worldwide. Fighting against the oppressive apartheid regime, Mandela believed that violence was necessary in order to achieve justice. However, this belief led to him being labeled as a terrorist by the South African government and others.


5. Mandela Son of Africa, Father of a Nation Official Full Documentary

It documents his life story and his leadership in the struggle against apartheid. The documentary covers Mandela’s early life, his imprisonment on Robben Island, and his ascent to political office. It also includes interviews with people who knew him well, as well as archival footage of key moments in Mandela’s career. This is one of the most comprehensive looks at the life and work of Nelson Mandela. Another documentary to consider is Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. This movie was released in 2013 and tells the story of Mandela’s life from his early days as a freedom fighter to his death in 2013. The film stars Idris Elba as Mandela, Naomie Harris as Winnie Mandela, Justin Chadwick as President de Klerk, and more. This film follows Mandela’s life in extraordinary detail and documents his fight against apartheid, his 27 years in jail, and his triumphant release in 1990. In addition to these two documentaries, there is also Mandela: An Audio History.


6. Nelson Mandela The Final Chapter- Full Documentary

Nelson Mandela The Final Chapter is an award-winning documentary that takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of South Africa’s iconic leader. Through exclusive interviews with family members, close friends, and political peers, this film paints a portrait of a man who made it his mission to bring meaningful change to society. With powerful archival footage and never before seen photos, Nelson Mandela The Final Chapter is a fitting tribute to an inspirational life. The documentary begins with a look at Nelson Mandela’s early years, when he was born in 1918 into the Madiba tribe. From there, it follows his journey through law school and political activism – including his involvement in anti-apartheid protests and the establishment of the African National Congress.

7. Mandela – From Prison to President

The documentary was produced in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and includes interviews with those close to him, as well as archival footage that reveal the hardships he faced during his imprisonment. It also looks at how he emerged from prison after 27 years to become a revered leader of South Africa. The film focuses on themes of courage, resilience, and forgiveness that defined Mandela’s life and legacy. The documentary is an essential viewing for anyone wanting to know more about Mandela’s life, his struggles and eventual triumphs. It offers a unique insight into the man behind the icon and shows how he was able to turn adversity into opportunity. The film paints a portrait of Mandela as a freedom fighter who believed in justice and equality while also understanding the power of love and reconciliation.


8. Nelson Mandela – Full Biography Story

To honor one of the most influential figures in modern history, a number of documentaries have been made about Mandela’s life and legacy. Here are some of the best documentary films to watch: Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom (2013): Directed by Justin Chadwick, this movie is based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same name. It chronicles his early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison before becoming president and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society. The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela (1997): This BBC documentary was directed by Angus Gibson and produced by Zane Cohen for BBC Television. The documentary consists of interviews with Mandela himself as well as those who served in his government. It provides an intimate look into Mandela’s life through the eyes of those who knew him best. Mandela: The Living Legend (2003): This documentary was directed by Roger Goodman and produced by James Erskine and Stephen Lambert for Channel 4 Television Corporation.


9. Nelson Mandela Interview

The documentary provides a unique insight into Mandela’s complex political thought processes and his diplomatic skills, as he navigates the tumultuous socio-political landscape of South Africa. It is an essential resource for understanding the legacy of Mandela and his impact on global politics.


10. Nelson Mandela – The Man That Unified South Africa


11. Apartheid Explained – Nelson Mandela’s Battle

Charisma, poise and strength of character. These are but a few words to describe the man who’s treacherous journey from political prisoner to becoming the first Black president of South Africa, is perhaps the most widely celebrated underdog story in modern African history. Known all around the world as a symbol of the never ending fight against racism and discrimination, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela’s successful fight against the deeply oppressive system of apartheid in his home county of South Africa would see him become the very embodiment of his famous maxim: “it always seems impossible until it is done


12. Nelson Mandela –  One Man

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David B