The Forgiven, a film that showcases Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s strife to find the answers during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) trials, starring iconic actors Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana will be shown at local cinemas this Friday.

The film is set in the 1990s and features some of the international industry’s most talented performers, with Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker playing the role of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Australian actor Eric Bana as the fictional prisoner, Piet Blomfeld.

It is a locally shot film, recorded from beginning to end in Cape Town. Familiar local areas of the city can be seen during the film and the Pollsmoor Maximum security Prison serves as the main arena of the story.

The film can be categorized as an intense thriller and a politically moving screening, as it tugs on the heartstrings of the audience. It focuses on redemption and forgiveness during the post-apartheid era and addresses the struggles that the nation faced at the time.

The story follows the Archbishop Tutu as he hunts for the truth in a case that can only be resolved with the aid of the fictional prisoner, Blomfeld.

Blomfeld is a confirmed murderer serving a life sentence in prison and is seeking absolution. The interaction between the two featured characters causes Archbishop Tutu to face a personal struggle as he is pushed to his limits.

The premiere of ‘The Forgiven’ took place in Los Angles in March 2018 and was co-hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Head of the UNODC’s office aptly described her experience of the film, owing to the problems it addresses both in the past and present.

“Art is a powerful advocacy tool to raise awareness and we have always used it to complement our work. We hope this beautifully rendered bravely acted film will move people to think about prisons and prisoners in a new way,” she said in an official UNODC statement.

The Archbishop Desmond Tutu described the film to the UNODC as “a tribute to the remarkable and healing power of forgiveness and the outstanding compassion and courage of those who offered love and forgiveness as an antidote to hate and inhumanity.”

The film will be released nationwide on 5 October 2018.

Picture: Twitter

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.