South Africa...the late 1980s. The African National Congress (ANC) wages an armed struggle against apartheid; President P.W. Botha clings to the last threads of power; the country is on the brink of bloody insurrection. In a gripping thriller based on real-life events, "Endgame" drops us into this brutal conflict's control centers: Nelson Mandela's prison, Botha's chambers, ANC headquarters, and, to our surprise, the rented car of a British businessman. It turns out that Consolidated Gold, a British mining concern, convinced that peaceful resolution in South Africa serves their interests, has initiated covert, unofficial talks between opposing sides.
Brilliantly building suspense befitting the situation's high stakes, "Endgame" chronicles this dangerous mission, where Michael Young, Consolidated's head of public affairs, doggedly assembles a reluctant, yet impressive, crew to confront intractable obstacles in the way of reconciliation. ANC leader Thabo Mbeki and Afrikaner philosophy professor Willie Esterhuyse are chief among them. Zeroing in on the growing emotional empathy between Mbeki and Esterhuyse, which becomes the linchpin for the talks, this enormously moving story dramatizes the way that meticulous strategies, combined with serendipity, finally unlock change. While Mandela endures house arrest, terrorist bombs threaten the dialogue, and Botha's regime gives way to F.W. de Klerk's leadership, an unlikely cadre, secreted in a distant British manor, pave the way to black South African freedom and form a template for peace negotiations around the world.