Endgame, about the covert negotiations in the '80s that helped bring down apartheid, follows Michael Young (Jonny Lee Miller), a public affairs director for a British gold-mining firm. Miller secretly assembles talks between African National Congress representatives led by Thabo Mbeki (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and powerful Afrikaners like philosophy prof Will Esterhuyse (William Hurt). Meanwhile, Niel Barnard (Mark Strong), South Africa's reptilian head of intelligence, starts his own clandestine chats with Nelson Mandela (Clarke Peters) in the hopes of dividing and conquering African National Congress leadership. Written by U.K.-TV vet Paula Milne, Endgame has its share of grandstanding dialogue: "I cannot stand by and do nothing while my country is reduced to ashes," booms Hurt. But the principals, especially Ejiofor, rise above the starchiness that often hampers portrayals of recent, monumental history.