She was a noble proponent of the antiapartheid movement and nearly as famous as her iconic husband. But what starts as a standard worshipful biopic of Winnie Mandela (Jennifer Hudson) suddenly shifts gears after her release from a year-plus jail stint. When Winnie begins to take stances that put her at odds with Nelson (Terrence Howard) and is implicated in a murder, Darrell Roodt’s film portrays her as a confused, possibly deranged individual. Yet this twist doesn’t so much probe the situation’s ambiguities as reflect the filmmaker’s uncertainty about how to properly portray a major historical figure in all her troubling complexity.
Follow Andrew Schenker on Twitter: @aschenker