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A few weeks ago Kent lent us Invictus - Clint Eastwood's movie about Nelson Mandela. We don't have a working DVD player in the house. At first I couldn't get it to work on my Linux machine. It took a while to understand that I could download the necessary codex and then it would work. Tonight we decided to watch it, so I connected the external hard drive to the laptop and the laptop to the TV via VGA cable and sound cord and presto!, the film hit the big screen. Or rather didn't. Bits of the Linux screen moved over, and other parts didn't. So I switched over to Dorit's netbook on Windows 7. However, Windows Media player complained about a missing codex. I downloaded VLC player, and it worked, though it was impossible to get the shape right for the TV.

Invictus itself is a pretty good film. I didn't check for authenticity, but the story rang true. It worked as a fim thanks to a very tight plot - it fastidiously chooses only two or three elements which seem at first glance quite minor, and focuses on them. Mandela evidently did the same. It's moving to watch the reshaping of a national identity, through the minds and hearts of individuals. As Deb says (NME), identity change is often less about removing old parts of identity (difficult), but in adding new layers. At least in the beginning.