“The Forgiven”
Released: 2018
Source: Amazon

I saw this movie last night. It’s a British drama that’s based on the play “The Archbishop and the Antichrist.” The play is about Desmond Tutu, but the story is fictional, based on the true stories that came about while the Archbishop served as the Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This Commission had the fascinating authority of granting amnesty to criminals after a public hearing in which victims of gross human rights violations could testify and the perpetrators could apologize. If the apology was considered genuine and accepted, the criminal would be forgiven and the charges against them would be dismissed. This Commission was brought about at the end of apartheid, and although controversial, is considered by many to have been a major healing factor in South Africa during this time and helping the transition to a full and free democracy.

This movie gets my eyes and ears for its length of 115 minutes because of Forest Whitaker who plays Desmond Tutu. Whitaker is one of my personal favorites in the acting world and a sheer talent that could have been a pro football player, or a professional opera singer. (I’m not kidding) look it up on Wikipedia. I first saw him in “Platoon” and when I watched him play Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator in “The Last King of Scotland,” I knew he was special. Unfortunately, he was the only thing special about this movie. It was slow, confusing, and not produced very well. Sometimes plays are meant to be plays. This may be an example. If it weren’t for Whitaker, this would not be worth watching. 3 stars