SA release date for Tutu movie announced

03 September 2018 - 14:15 By Naledi Shange
Forest Whitaker plays the role of Desmond Tutu in upcoming thriller The Forgiven.
Forest Whitaker plays the role of Desmond Tutu in upcoming thriller The Forgiven.
Image: Supplied/ 13 Films

A film based on the life of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, titled The Forgiven‚ will be released to local cinemas next month.

The film, which will be released on October 5, is based on Michael Ashton's play The Archbishop and the Antichrist and is directed by Roland Joffe.

In a statement‚ Roland said the drama would follow Tutu's moral and intellectual "struggle with brutal murderer and member of a former apartheid-era hit squad Piet Blomfeld"‚ played by Australian actor Eric Bana.

"When Tutu receives a highly articulate letter pleading for clemency‚ written by the convicted murderer‚ he becomes intrigued enough to visit the prisoner in his cell; here the two men have a series of intense conversations about guilt and forgiveness‚" he said.

American actor Forest Whitaker plays the role of Tutu in the film but came under fire when a trailer for the film was released in March. Social media users slammed Forest's accent and lack of resemblance to Tutu.

Forest was quoted as saying that filling Tutu's shoes was challenging.

"I knew his laugh‚ his sense of humour‚ how he felt‚ his passion‚ and his faith. But he has a graceful way in which he looks at the world. Trying to pull those things together‚ to capture the spirit of the man‚ was challenging‚" he said.

According to the producers‚ Forest was chosen because he had an understanding of South African history and had taken on a similar role in another movie.

The movie was shot in Cape Town and features several scenes from the Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison.

Its producers said Tutu has given his blessing to the production.