24 December 09

But We Forgot The Beer Beforehand

Yesterday we went to see “Invictus,” the movie directed by Clint Eastwood about Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s largely Afrikaner rugby team, the Springboks, during the 1995 Rugby World Cup played in South Africa. It’s a great story, and pretty much all true. Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon do credible jobs playing respectively Nelson Mandela and Francois Pienaar, the team captain of the Springboks. In classic sports movie trope fashion, the underdog Springboks manage to win the final, and more significantly help to unify the country in those fragile post-apartheid years.

As it happens there’s a bit of local color to the story. There’s a guy in Davis named Michael Lewis who writes a column every month or so in the local paper on beer and brewing (Lewis started the brewing science curriculum here at UCD). His last piece was about the story of the movie. It turns out Lewis was actually in attendance at the final of the World Cup, having been an amateur rugby player from a long ways back and for some reason was on hand in South Africa at that time. As he puts it — “The event is quite clear in my memory — despite a prodigious amount of pre-game beer sunk with my son and my brother-in-law, at his club — because it is, without a doubt, the seminal moment of my life associated with a sporting event.”

He concludes: “I look forward immensely to seeing the movie…partly, I suppose, because I’m an old rugby player, but mainly because I feel some ownership of it, odd as that might seem. Perhaps you’ll enjoy it as well. Look out for Jonah Lomu, the SAA 747 *, and the No. 6 jersey. And to make the experience thoroughly authentic, have a few beers before you go.”

* The bit in the movie about the jetliner is true.

Posted by at 09:15 PM in Music and Film | Link |

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