The Mandelas on screen: With two biopics in the pipeline – one focusing on Nelson, one on Winnie – how will the movie productions compare?

Gillian Orr weighs up the trailers for 'Winnie Mandela: A Life' and 'Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom'

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The Independent Culture

This autumn will see two biopics released about the Mandelas and the latest trailers are both now available to watch online. So which film should we be more excited about?

Click here to see more actors who have played Nelson Mandela

First up will be Winnie Mandela, based on Anné Mariè du Preez Bezrob's biography Winnie Mandela: A Life. Starring Jennifer Hudson in the title role, with Terrence Howard playing her former husband, the film has drawn criticism from Mandela herself, who says she was not consulted about it.

The South African director Darrell Roodt is said to have come under fire for calling the film, which takes us from her strict upbringing through to meeting her husband and their ensuing battles, an "amazing love story". Unimpressed, Mandela responded, "I think it is an insult. I don't know what would be romantic in our bitter struggle."

While Hudson et al no doubt have their eyes on an Oscar, come next year's Academy Awards the smart money is on Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom, starring Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as Winnie, to be the one to beat.

Based on Mandela's book of the same name, it will detail the former lawyer and ANC activist's fight for freedom in the face of the apartheid regime, his 27-year incarceration, and, this being Hollywood, his romance with Winnie. Seen as the official biopic by many, it was even screened for the United Nations General Assembly on Nelson Mandela International Day in front of such guests as Bill Clinton.

The two trailers include a number of crossover scenes: the couple's eyes first meeting, initial kisses, courtroom scenes, Mandela's arrival on Robben Island, and plenty of rallies, but A Long Walk To Freedom certainly looks the more thrilling of the two. And while Howard bears much more of a resemblance to the young Mandela, it is Elba's performance that currently has the industry buzzing.

Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela in 'Winnie Mandela: A Life'