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Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, William Hurt, Jonny Lee Miller, Clarke Peters, Derek Jacobi, Mark Strong, Grant Swanby, Lihle Bangani, Mike Huff, Timothy West
South Africa, 1985. The country is under siege. Sanctions are biting, Mandela's imprisonment is an international cause celebre, and the ANC guerrilla terrorist attacks are escalating. Every day the country is more ungovernable as it plunges towards the apocalypse of a race war. In their saner moments everyone knows the vile apartheid regime is doomed, but will the transition to democracy be peaceful or bloody? Working for P.W. Botha as a Machiavellian Head of Intelligence, Doctor Neil Barnard opens furtive talks with the imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Today, these talks are well documented. Less known are the secret talks that took place in the unlikely setting of a rural English manor house ¿ talks that paved the way for the transition of power and the dismantling of apartheid.
The UK talks are arranged by a British businessman, Michael Young who is working for a mining company that is seeking to secure its future by ensuring stability in South Africa. At the mining company's Somerset country house, influential Afrikaner, Professor Esterhuyse sits down face to face with his fiercest enemies from the ANC, led by future President Thabo Mbeki. Both sides have everything to win and everything to lose, including their own lives. The stakes are immense, the secrecy total.
But Botha knows of the UK talks too. If the demise of apartheid is inevitable he intends to control the endgame by employing the tactics of divide and rule. Dr Barnard must wring as many concessions out of Mandela as he can whilst instructing the Afrikaners to do the same with the ANC in the UK ¿ then play one off against the other.
The UK talks are inter-cut with Mandela's tense negotiations at Pollsmoor Prison and later in the heavily bugged warden's villa at Victor Verster Prison. Showing Mandela's courage, this film also shows for first time the courage of the unsung heroes at the crucial UK talks.
Against all the odds, through volatile discussion, setbacks and breakthroughs, the secret talks achieve the unimaginable - a precious arena of frail trust between the two warring parties.
Sometimes peace can only be achieved away from the radar of public scrutiny. A decade later when the IRA decided to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Irish conflict they secretly turned to the ANC for advice on how to do it. It is believed that the IRA is now in secret talks advising Hamas on the same strategy. In the climate we all now live in, this inspiring film has never had more relevance.
South Africa mid-80's, a country torn apart by violence, a civil war hangs in the balance and only a handful of unlikely heroes have a shot at putting an end to the madness before it explodes and takes down an entire country. Endgame takes us behind-the-scenes for negotiations between the ANC and South African government to end apartheid in 1985. Played out in a slow,dramatic yet very effective way we get a look at just how fragile the situation was back then. The film starts off when Consolidated Gold, a British mining concern sends one their men, Head of Public Affairs Michael Young to take a look at the problem and secretly get a group together to try and talk out and solve the crisis before it is too late. One of the main men he recruits for the job is, Thabo Mbeki one of the leaders of the ANC who has been declared a terrorist by the National Party and is in exile. At the table Mr. Mbeki will face off with Dr. Willie Esterhuyse, these two men could not be any different but the both see eye to eye on ending the chaos but they have different views on just how it should be done. I really loved the camera work in this film, Director, Pete Travis did a terrific job using his camera men to create a feeling of panic and it put you right there among all the tension. What may be a more a Political Drama than a Thriller in the way the story is carried out but that does not make it any less effective, you get to see from all angles the people involved at the time each having their own agendas for putting a stop to the violence. Even Nelson Mandela who at the time had already been jailed for 30 years is used as a piece of the puzzle by freeing him in hopes he could help as well. The cast here is brilliant but I expected no less, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller are magnificent but it is William Hurt and Clarke Peters who plays Mandela that steal the show. Still it is a ensemble piece and everyone in the film played their roles to perfection. We all know how it ends but that doesn't make this film any less powerful, Endgame is a excellent depiction of the racism and violence that was South Africa in the 80's. You know what is coming but it still unfolds in dramatic fashion and it pulls you in to the chaos and it never lets up. Filled with enough suspense that you would need a knife to cut through, Endgame shows us that anything can be achieved if we set our minds to getting it done. I was taken in by the honest and gripping betrayal of the biggest event in African history. The way our world is today maybe we can learn from this and make changes for the better. Brilliant is the best way I can describe this film and I highly recommend everyone see it when it begins a Theatrical run in October. Released by Monterey Media. ***** Out Of *****