Movie Premiere: Clint Eastwood’s Invictus
The French Premiere of Invictus was hosted by UNESCO in Paris on 11 January 2010. The objective was to highlight the power of “sport for reconciliation”, and the importance of the fight against racism to the cause of peace and conflict resolution.
This major event was organized by UNESCO, the United Nations’ lead agency for Physical Education and Sport (PES), in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is produced and directed by Clint Eastwood and is based on Nelson Mandela’s life during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. The UNESCO Premiere brought together political figures, UNESCO Champions for Sport and VIPs from the field of sport to celebrate and advocate for the power of “sport for reconciliation”.
Against the backdrop of Mandela’s release from prison and his election as President of South Africa, the film follows Nelson Mandela’s efforts to use the 1995 Rugby World Cup as a vehicle to unite the nation after the end of apartheid. The film features Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela, and Matt Damon, as François Pienaar, the Captain of the South African Rugby team.
UNESCO and Sport for Reconciliation
Invictus echoes and amplifies the message of UNESCO’s “Sport for peace and development” programme by illustrating the power of sport to promote the values of peace, solidarity, and tolerance. Sport plays a significant role as a vehicle for social integration and economic development, as well as communicating and instilling values of tolerance and fair play.
The practice of sport is a recognized instrument for breaking down the barriers and transcending the divides between the communities and countries, both during and following situations of conflict. As such, UNESCO’s programme on Sport for Peace and Development promotes sport’s demonstrable ability to unite society in an unparalleled way globally, bridging gaps across races, cultures and various poverty lines.
In its efforts to use sport as a catalyst for peace and social development, UNESCO offers help and assistance to NGOs, governments and experts on the formulation of human rights-based policies in this field.
UNESCO’s Physical Education and Sport programme (PES) has a number of elements, namely:
- Promoting sport as a vehicle for peace, reconciliation and development.
- Increasing the quality and access to physical education and sport programmes.
- Preserving and promoting traditional sports and games and the role they have in intercultural dialogue.
- Promoting gender equity in sport by encouraging full participation in programmes and ensuring fair access to sport and physical education.
- Fighting against all possible kinds of discrimination, and particularly acts or racist expressions on all levels.
- Increasing governments’ awareness of doping and combating those practices.
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