The Forgiven: Desmond Tutu movie debuts in SA cinemas

Starring Hollywood actor Forest Whitaker as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, the movie is based on the play The Archbishop and the Antichrist by Michael Ashton, a fictionalised story of Tutu’s search for answers during the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC).

It’s been more than 20 years since the end of the TRC and the film directed by Roland Joffé is said to be a return to the terrible truths of apartheid and its legacy.

With a focus on redemption and forgiveness in South Africa, the story follows Tutu as he hunts for the truth in a case that can only be resolved with the aid of the fictional prisoner Piet Blomfeld. The movie premiered in Los Angeles earlier this year. 

Tutu described the movie 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.

Talking to Channel24 ahead of its release, Tutu’s daughter Mpho applauded Whitaker’s “amazing” portrayal of her dad. “There were some mannerisms and actions of holding his face that he actually caught to a tee,” she was quoted as saying. She said, in the end, the movie wasn’t a story about her father, but one about South Africans and the courage of the ordinary people in the country.