The great american actor Forest Whitaker and film director Roland Joffé presented Saturday at the Unesco the premiere of Forgiven (released 9 January), at the invitation of Audrey Azoulay, director of the institution. In the majestic architecture of the congress hall, the guests sitting in front of the desks have discovered this drama taking inspired by the story of the Truth and Reconciliation commission created by Nelson Mandela and chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, anglican archbishop of Cape town.

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Forest Whitaker interprets it with his powerful spell this prelate fearless who works to bring peace and forgiveness in South Africa marked by racist violence. In the film, it seeks to shed light on the murder of a teenage girl black and confronts a prisoner’s white heavily sentenced for several crimes (Eric Bana). It will also look up to the source of his hatred to awaken humanity, buried under the cynicism.

Forest Whitaker, here in the role of Desmond Tutu, promotes youth entrepreneurship, programmes for education and training in conflict resolution through an NGO that he has founded. Saje Distribution

Roland Joffé, director of Tear and Mission , was told that the interview of a woman who forgave the murderer of her husband and of his children convinced him to turn Forgiven (taken from a piece by Michael Ashton). “I offer this boy what he didn’t have: the love,” she said. The climate is very hard on the film, gives his prize to this spiritual energy, a true conquest over hatred.

Forest Whitaker, the Charlie Parker of Bird , Clint Eastwood, oscar winner for his performance as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (2006), is quite at home in Unesco. There is not only a film actor but the founder of the NGO Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, which promotes youth entrepreneurship, programmes for education and training in conflict resolution. He had just concluded a new partnership with BNP Paribas to support academic and professional disadvantaged youth in the city of Cape town. It’s a bit like Desmond Tutu came out of the screen…

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