Exclusives

Here's a First Look at 'The Forgiven,' Starring Forest Whitaker as Archbishop Desmond Tutu

In an exclusive with OkayAfrica, watch a chilling scene from the thriller chronicling an investigation during South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

On March 9, we'll get to see Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker transform into an African great and anti-apartheid activist—Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Directed by Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields, The Mission) and alongside Eric Bana, The Forgiven is an intense thriller based on the real events from South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission—a restorative justice body that was assembled in 1996, after the abolition of apartheid just two years prior.


Here's the synopsis:

In 'The Forgiven,' when Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Forest Whitaker) is appointed to head a nationwide investigation, he's summoned to a maximum-security prison by a notorious murderer seeking clemency (Eric Bana). Inside the brutal prison walls, Tutu is drawn into a dangerous, life-changing battle with the cunning criminal.

Watch the clip below.

Archbishop Tutu says in a statement that this film comes just at the right time.

"This timely, compelling and intelligent film, movingly, and above all humanely, captures what it felt like to be working with those selfless members of the TRC who strove, often against the odds, to help bring both truth and reconciliation to the ordinary people of South Africa," Tutu says. "The film is 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. This is not only a film about a certain time and place, it is a pean of hope to humanity at large."

The Forgiven is presented by Saban Films; produced by Joffé alongside Link Entertainment's Craig Baumgarten and Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light and Dark Films, with financing being provided by The Fyzz Facility. Executive producers include Kim Ashton, Wayne Marc Godfrey, Robert Jones, John R. Sherman, Tannaz Anisi, Greg Schenz, Jeff Gum, Jeff Rice and Lee Broda.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.