*Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is not happy with the upcoming film about her turbulent life and marriage to Nelson Mandela, and has expressed frustration over being left out of the production process, reports AFP.
Titled “Winnie,” the biopic is directed by South African film-maker Darrell J. Roodt, whose work includes “Cry, The Beloved Country” and “Sarafina,” and stars Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson in the title role.
In a letter leaked Tuesday to South African media, Madikizela-Mandela’s lawyers told the filmmakers she was “extremely concerned” to hear about the film, saying “she has never been approached for consent or at all,” according to The Star newspaper.
“It is difficult to understand how a production bearing the name of an individual who has not been consulted at all could ever be appropriate or tell the full story of that individual’s life as media reports suggest this production is intended to,” said the letter from her attorney Bowman Gilfillan, according to the paper.
“This is certainly the case here, where our client has not responded to allegations and comment which have been made about her, precisely because she has sought to protect her sphere of personal privacy as best she can in extremely difficult and turbulent times,” it added.
The film had already stoked controversy in South Africa when Hudson was tapped to play the role, sparking outrage among local actors who complained that South African talent had again been overlooked by Hollywood.
Meanwhile, the Clint Eastwood film “Invictus,” about South Africa’s 1995 Rugby World Cup victory, stars Morgan Freeman playing Mandela and has been a hit on local screens.