Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Pete Travis|
|Produced by||Hal Vogel|
|Written by||Paula Milne|
|Music by||Martin Phipps|
|Edited by||Clive Barrett|
|Distributed by||Target Entertainment|
Endgame is a 2009 British film directed by Pete Travis from a script by Paula Milne, based upon the book The Fall of Apartheid by Robert Harvey. The film is produced by Daybreak Pictures and reunites Travis with Vantage Point actor William Hurt. It also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jonny Lee Miller and Mark Strong. The film dramatises the final days of apartheid in South Africa. It was filmed at locations in Reading in England and Cape Town, South Africa in the first half of 2008 and was completed in December that year.
The film had its world premiere on 18 January 2009 at the Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on Channel 4 on 4 May 2009. It also had an international theatrical release, the distribution of which was handled by Target Entertainment Group.
The film depicts the final days of apartheid, focusing on secret talks held between the African National Congress and the members of the National Party in a country house in Somerset, England.The film focuses on the relationship that develops between Willie Esterhuyse and Thabo Mbeki.
The secret talks were brokered by Michael Young, a British businessman who worked for Consolidated Gold Fields, a firm with considerable interests in South Africa. The talks took place in Mells Park House, a country house near Frome in Somerset. The house was then owned by Consolidated Gold Fields.
Consolidated Gold Fields was a company with interests in South Africa which is the subject of sanctions by other nations. In one scene, Young and Rudolf Agnew, chairman of Consolidated Gold Fields, leave their offices in London and are mobbed by anti-apartheid protesters who batter and chase their car, unaware that the two men are sponsoring the very talks that are leading to the end of the system they oppose.
In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 24 April 2009, Michael Young mentioned how he had been asked by Thabo Mbeki to write the final chapter of the 2003 book by Robert Harvey on the Fall of Apartheid - the chapter titled "Endgame" - on which this film is based.
The film has its roots in a discussion between Daybreak Pictures executive producer David Aukin and former Director General of the BBC Greg Dyke; when Dyke told Aukin that he wanted to make a documentary about the secret talks that ended apartheid, Aukin suggested turning it into a drama instead. Aukin had previously produced the acclaimed political drama The Government Inspector .
Aukin and his production partner Hal Vogel contacted Paula Milne to write the script. She spent 18 months on the screenplay and researched the history of the talks by speaking to Thabo Mbeki and Michael Young in South Africa.Pete Travis, director of Omagh (2004) and Vantage Point (2008), was sent the script by Milne. Travis was not interested in directing a historical drama about recent events and decided to turn the film into a political thriller. William Hurt and Chiwetel Ejiofor were first to be cast. Hurt, who played President Henry Ashton in Vantage Point, was cast as Will Esterhuyse because Travis wanted to cast actors he had worked with before. Other actors were interested in the part even after Hurt had signed on. Travis wanted to work with Ejiofor, who was his first choice for the part of Thabo Mbeki.
Location scouting in South Africa was done in January 2008.Rehearsals began on 14 April 2008 and scenes set in the UK were filmed for the rest of the month at a large country house near Reading, Berkshire. The production moved to Cape Town in May, where location filming was done for six weeks. Production wrapped in August. Martin Phipps composed the film soundtrack. The final cut of the film was completed on 24 December 2008.
Target Entertainment sold the international theatrical distribution rights in 2008 at the Cannes Film Festivaland the American Film Market for release in 2009. Endgame had its world premiere on 18 January 2009 at the Sundance Film Festival, in the International Narrative Feature Films category. The film was originally slated to be a major part of Channel 4's "Apartheid Season", and was previously scheduled for broadcast in mid-2008. It premiered in the UK at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in March and was broadcast on Channel 4 on 4 May. It had its American television premiere on 25 October 2009 on Masterpiece Contemporary on PBS. This was followed by a theatrical release on 30 October through Monterey Media in select U.S. cities.
Overnight ratings indicated that Endgame's first Channel 4 broadcast was seen by 837,000 viewers (a 3.9% audience share). 64,000 more watched on Channel 4's one-hour timeshift service, Channel 4+1. A repeat on the evening of 9 May got 336,000 viewers (1.7% share) on Channel 4 and 35,000 on Channel 4+1.
The film's reception was mixed. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 71% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 6.46/10.At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100 based on 4 critics, indicating "mixed or averagee reviews". The Daily Telegraph praised Lee Miller's performance but argued that "the elements never quite cohered". The newspaper concluded that the script "seemed too fuzzy in its focus, and also too eager to write history with an unambiguously broad brush." Other publications praised the film. In contrast with the Telegraph, The Independent praised the script "Paula Milne's script skilfully interspersed talk with action". The Times rated the film four out of five stars. It also won a Peabody Award in 2009.
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki is a South African politician who served as the second president of South Africa from 16 June 1999 to 24 September 2008. On 20 September 2008, with about nine months left in his second term, Mbeki announced his resignation after being recalled by the National Executive Committee of the ANC, following a conclusion by judge C. R. Nicholson of improper interference in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), including the prosecution of Jacob Zuma for corruption. On 12 January 2009, the Supreme Court of Appeal unanimously overturned judge Nicholson's judgement but the resignation stood.
The African Renaissance is the concept that African people and nations shall overcome the current challenges confronting the continent and achieve cultural, scientific, and economic renewal. The African Renaissance concept was first articulated by Cheikh Anta Diop in a series of essays beginning in 1946, which are collected in his book Towards the African Renaissance: Essays in Culture and Development, 1946-1960. This concept has been further popularized by former South African President Thabo Mbeki during his term of office, and it continues to be a key part of the post-apartheid intellectual agenda. It has found new expression and momentum within the International Decade for People of African Descent through the Door of Return initiative which is coming out of the historical Maroon community of Accompong Jamaica in cooperation with Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe. The revival is being led by Accompong Finance Minister Timothy E. McPherson Jr. and Nigeria's Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri.
The president of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state, head of government of South Africa and the commander-in-chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) under the Constitution of South Africa. From 1961 to 1994, the head of state was called the state president.
Mitchell and Webb are a British comedy double act, composed of David Mitchell and Robert Webb. They are best known for starring in the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show and their radio and TV sketch shows That Mitchell and Webb Sound and That Mitchell and Webb Look. The duo first met at the Footlights in 1993 and collaborated on the 1995 revue while at Cambridge.
Chiwetel Umeadi Ejiofor is a British-Nigerian actor and filmmaker. After enrolling at the National Youth Theatre in 1995 and attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, at age 19 and three months into his course, Ejiofor was cast by Steven Spielberg to play a supporting role in the film Amistad (1997) as James Covey.
Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick Lekota is a South African politician, who currently serves as the President and Leader of the Congress of the People since 16 December 2008.
James Bartlett is a South African actor best known for his role as the wicked puppet master, David Genaro on Rhythm City that is aired in many African countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Cameroon, Malawi and Ghana.
South Africa since 1994 transitioned from the system of apartheid to one of majority rule. The election of 1994 resulted in a change in government with the African National Congress (ANC) coming to power. The ANC retained power after subsequent elections in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. Children born during this period are known as the born-free generation, and those aged eighteen or older, were able to vote for the first time in 2014.
Vantage Point is a 2008 American political action thriller film directed by Pete Travis and written by Barry L. Levy. The story focuses on an assassination attempt on the President of the United States, as seen from the various vantage points of different characters. Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver star in principal roles. The film is often compared, unfavorably, to Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, which also employed storytelling through multiple perspectives. Rashomon used the multiple perspectives to question the possibility of truth, in a process called the Rashomon effect; in contrast, Vantage Point recounts a series of events which are re-enacted from several different perspectives and viewpoints to reveal a truthful account of what happened. Vantage Point also explores kidnapping, assassination and terrorism.
Pete Travis is an English television and film director. His work includes Cold Feet (1999), The Jury (2002) and Omagh (2004) for television and Vantage Point (2008), Endgame (2009) and Dredd (2012) for cinema.
Michael Alan Young is a businessman with a political background. He secretly organised the meetings between the South African government and the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC).
Molotov Cocktail is a quarterly magazine published in South Africa. Molotov Cocktail is edited by James Sanders.
David Aukin is a theatrical and executive producer as well as a qualified solicitor. He has been nominated many times for British Academy Television Awards and has won twice for producing films about Tony Blair: The Government Inspector in 2005 and Britz in 2009. While Head of Film at Channel 4 he received the Michael Balcon Award from BAFTA for the quality of its output. The films he commissioned at Channel 4 gathered numerous Oscar nominations and they won for the Madness of King George, Secrets & Lies and Trainspotting. Secrets & Lies also won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival.
Willem Petrus "Willie" Esterhuyse is an emeritus professor of philosophy and business ethics at the University of Stellenbosch, a columnist and critic of the system of Apartheid.
The presidency of Nelson Mandela began on 10 May 1994, when Nelson Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist, lawyer, and former political prisoner, was inaugurated as President of South Africa, and ended on 14 June 1999. He was the first non-White head of state in South African history, as well as the first to take office following the dismantling of the apartheid system and the introduction of full, multiracial democracy. Mandela was also the oldest head of state in South Africa's history, taking office at the age of seventy-five. His age was taken into consideration as part of his decision to not seek re-election in 1999.
Martin Phipps is a British composer, who has worked on numerous film and television projects.
The second series of the British comedy-drama television series Cold Feet was first broadcast on the ITV network from 26 September to 31 October 1999. The six episodes were written by series creator Mike Bullen, produced by Christine Langan, and directed by Tom Hooper, Tom Vaughan and Pete Travis. The storylines focus on three couples: Adam Williams and Rachel Bradley, Pete and Jenny Gifford, and David and Karen Marsden who are played by James Nesbitt, Helen Baxendale, John Thomson, Fay Ripley, Robert Bathurst and Hermione Norris respectively.
In South Africa, HIV/AIDS denialism had a significant impact on public health policy from 1999 to 2008, during the presidency of Thabo Mbeki. Mbeki criticized the scientific consensus that HIV does cause AIDS beginning shortly after his election to the presidency. In 2000, he organized a Presidential Advisory Panel regarding HIV/AIDS including several scientists who denied that HIV caused AIDS. In the following eight years of his presidency, Mbeki continued to express sympathy for HIV/AIDS denialism, and instituted policies denying antiretroviral drugs to AIDS patients. The Mbeki government even withdrew support from clinics that started using AZT to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. He also restricted the use of a pharmaceutical company's donated supply of nevirapine, a drug that helps keep newborns from contracting HIV. Instead of providing these drugs, which he described as "poisons", shortly after he was elected to the presidency, he appointed Manto Tshabalala-Msimang as the country's health minister, who promoted the use of unproven herbal remedies such as ubhejane, garlic, beetroot, and lemon juice to treat AIDS, which led to her acquiring the nickname "Dr. Beetroot." These policies have been blamed for the preventable deaths of between 343,000 and 365,000 people from AIDS. Since 2008, Mbeki has been silent about his views and policies on AIDS; according to The New York Times, his spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, said Mr. Mbeki would not discuss his thinking on HIV and AIDS, explaining that policy decisions were made collectively by the cabinet and so questions should be addressed to the government. Upon becoming president in 2008, Mbeki's successor, Kgalema Motlanthe, appointed Barbara Hogan as health minister to replace Tshabalala-Msimang on the first day of his presidency. Hogan told The New York Times, "The era of denialism is over completely in South Africa."
Come Sunday is a 2018 American drama film based on the excommunication of Carlton Pearson, directed by Joshua Marston from a screenplay by Marcus Hinchey. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jason Segel, Condola Rashad, Lakeith Stanfield, Stacey Sargeant, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Danny Glover, and Martin Sheen.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is intended to be the sequel to Doctor Strange (2016) and the 28th film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Jade Bartlett and Michael Waldron, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange, alongside Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez.