The Forgiven

Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana are extraordinary as Desmond Tutu and Piet Blomfeld in this tense political drama.

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Dir Roland Joffé
Prod Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat, Craig Baumgarten, Roland Joffé
Scr Michael Ashton
With Forest Whitaker, Eric Bana
South Africa-UK
Sales 13 Films

Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana excel as Desmond Tutu and Piet Blomfeld in this political drama that asks how far we can go in forgiving past crimes. It is 1996 and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which aims to offer support and reparations to the victims of apartheid, has been running for two years. It is headed by Archbishop Tutu, who works to resolve crimes in order to heal an embittered nation. After promising the grief-stricken family of one victim of a government-sanctioned ‘disappearance’ that he will uncover the truth, Tutu’s search leads him to Piet Blomfeld, a convicted murderer languishing in Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison. Roland Joffé’s gritty and suspenseful drama recreates Tutu’s confrontation with Blomfeld, who seeks redemption for his crimes. What emerges is an intelligent and deeply affecting exploration of the psychological and moral questions raised by the TRC and our capacity to let go of the past.

Keith Shiri

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Roland Joffé, Director

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.