Mandela Film Trailer Shows Idris Elba In Role

The trailer for the new biopic of Nelson Mandela has been released, as the film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom tells the story of his journey from his childhood in a rural village to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

Directed by Justin Chadwick and starring British actor Idris Elba as Mr Mandela, the film incorporates all of the significant life events of the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon.

It includes his early days as a smooth lawyer, to his recruitment by the ANC, to his arrest, imprisonment and release.

There has been criticism that the film, which is based on the former South African president's autobiography, attempts to take on too much content.

For example, the 27 years Mr Mandela spent in prison is reflected in just 30 minutes in the film, which is released in the UK in January next year.

But Elba, who is best known for TV shows The Wire and Luther, has been praised for his performance in the lead role.

The Hollywood Reporter said: “It takes a commanding actor to fill the shoes of the man most instrumental in ending institutionalised oppression in South Africa, and the charismatic Idris Elba proves equal to the task."

Speaking at the Toronto Film Festival, Elba said he thought it was important to show both sides of Mr Mandela in the film.

He added: "I moved to South Africa for about three months prior to shooting, just so that I could understand what South Africa was like, and Cape Town and Johannesburg, and compare the two and understand the tribes and especially Mr Mandela's tribe.

"So the challenges were massive, but we embraced them. He had a very difficult life, so we weren't expected to make an easy film."

Early scenes in Chadwick's film show Mr Mandela as a womaniser who was violent to his first wife Evelyn.

His second wife, Winnie, is played by British actress Naomie Harris.

Mr Mandela was released from hospital last week after three months of treatment for a lung infection.