FOTO: César Nunez Castro

FOTO: César Nunez Castro

Boeke

5 Boekminute met John Carlin, skrywer van Invictus

Het jy ooit gedink die boek sal soveel impak hê?
Nooit! Alles – die boek se sukses en, veral die maak van die fliek – is ‘n massiewe bevredigende verrassing.

Volg jy steeds die politiek in SA?
Ja. Met ywerige belangstelling. Ek stel meer belang in SA politiek as enige ander land se politiek; ek is ook meer geïnteresseerd in SA as enige ander land.

Is jy ‘n rugbyondersteuner?
Nie fanaties nie. Ek kyk groot wedstryde, veral as die Springbokke betrokke is. Maar ek volg nie rugby naastenby so intens soos ek byvoorbeeld sokker volg nie.

Het die film van jou boek voldoen aan jou verwagtinge en is die filmweergawe akkuraat?
Dit hét voldoen aan my verwagtinge. Dis waarlik getrou aan die gees van Mandela en aan daardie tye in SA.

Hoe vergelyk Morgan Freeman se vertolking van Madiba met jou persoonlike ervaring van Nelson Mandela?
Ek dink Freeman beeld hom fantasties uit. Hy vang Mandela se gesigsuitdrukkings, gees, stemming en grasie vas. Hy verbeeld ook die reusagtige eensaamheid van die individuele man agter die charismatiese leier.

Ek het as fotograaf gewerk op die Wêreldbeker en het ‘n baie spesifieke beeld van Francois Pienaar as rugbyspeler en sy statuur, en was effe teleurgesteld met Matt Damon se vertolking van hom. Wat is jou opinie?
Dit was opsetlik onderbeklemtoon, met die kollig op Mandela. Ek dink hy het die aksent reggekry, wat al klaar baie is. As iemand wat Francois ook ken, was ek heel tevrede met hoe Damon die job gedoen het.

Wat is die kanse dat Invictus werklik ‘n Oscar gaan wen?
Hoog, vir beste akteur.

Het jy enige terugvoer gekry van lande oor hoe die film ontvang is?
Net in die VSA sover, dink ek. Die resensies (bv. in die New York Times) was fantasties. ‘n Klomp van my vriende in die VSA, wat niks weet van SA nie, het vir my gesê hulle is mal daaroor.

‘n Gunsteling-herinnering aan Madiba?
Daar is baie. Miskien die onderhoud wat ek met hom gedoen het in die Uniegebou ‘n paar weke nadat hy president geword het. Of die oomblik – in sy huis in 2001- toe hy gesê het hy sal sy entoesiastiese seën gee aan my boek, nog voor ek eers begin het.

Sal die 2010 Sokker-wêreldbeker dieselfde impak op SA maak as die Rugby-wêreldbeker?
Nee. Die tye is baie anders. Toe was SA ‘n baba-demokrasie en baie breekbaar, die prooi van allerhande gevare en het ‘n inspuiting van verenigende adrenalien nodig gehad. Vandag is SA, ten spyte van al sy probleme, ‘n stabiele demokrasie.

Het verkope van Invictus gestyg ná die uitreiking van die film?
Ek’s nie seker nie. Ek hoop so. Mens sal so dink.

Is jy besig met ‘n nuwe boek?
Nee. Ek sal graag een wil skryf, maar my Mandela-boek gaan ‘n baie moeilike een wees om na te volg, om verskeie redes.

  • Dr Jannie J de Beer

    Ek het met groot verwagting Invictus begin lees – om net vroeg in die boek al te besef dat dit net nóg ‘n liberale Engelsman is wat met esoteriese retoriek galbraak oor ons Afikaners. Moenie ‘n fout maak nie – dis briljant geskryf! Die veragting en minagting van ons Afrikaners skreeu egter ten hemele. Ons ken almal die merkwaardige verhaal en Madiba, en eer hom tot in ewigheid daarvoor, maar John Carlin het veels te laat op die lawaaiwa ("band wagon") probeer klouter. Om stereotipe beelde tot vervelens toe te herhaal oor die Afrikaners as "barrel-bellied, brute, arrogant, burly, beer-drinking rugby addicts", laat ‘n wrang smaak agter. Na bykans 20 jaar van demokrasie kan John ‘n les by Madiba sélf leer – hou op om net die slegste in die mense om jou te sien – sien eerder die ware potensiaal van ‘n kosbare mens voor jou.

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