A terrific, virtually unknown new real-life political thriller

Clint Eastwood’s Invictus depicts Nelson Mandela during his first term as South African president. But be sure not to miss Endgame, the fantastically suspenseful movie that chronicles the bizarre circumstances that led to Mandela’s 1990 release from prison (available on DVD 2/9).

Endgame, from British director Pete Travis, centers on the unlikely gatherings that eventually brought South Africa from white minority rule to its first democratic elections, in 1994. The extraordinary situation involved a British businessman who risked his life and his career to broker a series of talks between the president of the African National Congress (superbly played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) and, through an Afrikaner philosophy professor (William Hurt), the National Party. Though many shots feature the frustratingly common “shaky camera” style, the film is worth seeing for its standout performances, crisp dialogue and intimate perspective on an improbable moment in history.

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A  terrific, virtually unknown new real-life political thriller