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.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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