Hundreds of community members joined ONE Campus chapters around the country last week in paying tribute to Nelson Mandela at screenings of the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The pre-scheduled film showings — in partnership with The Weinstein Company — offered many people a chance to mourn and celebrate Mandela’s life. Multiple locations held candlelight vigils after the film and moments of silence gave time for reflection.
Ten ONE campuses across the country have been specially selected to show advanced screenings of the new film, starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. Clark University, University of Texas El Paso, SUNY Oswego, and Georgia Regents University were the first schools to show their advanced screenings in their towns, on December 5—the very day of Mandela’s passing.
The next few days brought screenings at University of Virginia, University of Arizona, University of Iowa, Carthage College, Beloit College, and University of Michigan. Each group found their own way to pay tribute to Mandela’s incredible life during their film screening event. Take a look:
A candlelight vigil was held at Clark University’s screening in Worcester, Mass. “In light of [Mandela’s death], I feel that the screening was a fitting way for students and community members to take a couple hours out of their day to reflect and honor the life of Nelson Mandela,” said Clark University campus leader Maggie Friga. “After several moments of silence a group of students stayed behind to share their feelings, thoughts and reflections on the life and death of this extraordinary man. It was a very important and much needed conversation for all of us.”
University of Virginia students and local community members light a candle and reflected on Nelson Mandela’s life before the screening. Said UVA ONE Campus Leader Denise Catbay: “The vigil was absolutely amazing, which really showed how people honored the man who was Mandela and how much respect we have for him. The film really captured Nelson Mandela’s humanity and the person behind the political figure. It helped us to understand the peace that he sought within his own country and his massive influence around the world.”
SUNY Oswego students mourned the passing of Mandela with hand-drawn messages “Coming together for this film was extraordinarily emotional,” said SUNY Oswego campus leader Katie Sullivan. “The real photos and videos portraying apartheid South Africa that were incorporated into the film brought to life the decades long struggle that many of us have only read about. The timing of the screening was a powerful reminder of the inspiration Mandela was to all South Africans and how he has had such a resounding impact around the world.”
Emotional audiences at all ten of the film screenings grieved together and were moved to truly live the life of action that Mandela inspires.
How have you been changed by the life of Nelson Mandela? Share the inspiration here or in a comment below.