Thursday, September 01, 2011

Chiwetel Ejiofor Quote of the Month: September 2011

With the exception of Redbelt (which I am not counting out of personal animosity), none of the films we have covered so far have exactly been chatty. Oh sure, Serenity has awesome dialogue, but I'm thinking chatty in terms of like a stage play. Ejiofor is such a poised, fiercely intelligent actor, such a film would be an ideal place to watch him do his thing.

Endgame is part of the "Masterpiece Contemporary" series from PBS. It's the story of how a series of secret discussions on a remote estate in the UK helped to bring peace to South Africa and end apartheid. Ejiofor plays Thabo Mbeki, head representative of the African National Congress during the talks. And that's what they are: Talks. Oh sure, we get some action and suspense here and there, but mostly we get Ejiofor sitting at a table and drawing us in with his words. It's all the more appropriate, then, that his introduction is as a speaker to some UK bigwigs as he pleads his case:

“My name is Thabo Mbeki, and I am a terrorist. No doubt, that is what you have been told. (opens jacket) No incendiary devices. No concealed weapons. I am just a man, as you are. Every day, the president of South Africa, under the mantle of his state of emergency, deploys thousands more of his troops in the townships, brutally crushing the rising resistance to his oppressive regime. Yet the United Kingdom is still one of South Africa’s leading trading partners. Every company, every financial institution which continues to invest there is a source of political and economic strength to P.W. Botha. If it is true that money talks, then let it speak clearly. Let your voice join ours when we say the bloodshed of our people must end. The time to shout ‘enough’ has come. The time for you to act is here."

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