Eric Bana to play Piet Blomfeld opposite Forest Whitaker's Desmond Tutu in THE FORGIVEN

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We have some more casting information on The Forgiven, the film adaptation of the Michael Ashton’s play The Archbishop And The Antichrist about Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his role in the country’s Truth and Reconciliation commission that launched in 1994 at the end of apartheid. Deadline reports that Eric Bana has signed on to play the role of Piet Blomfeld, a brutal murder from the apartheid regime.

Forest Whitaker has already signed on to play the role of Desmond Tutu in a movie that will look at the struggles Tutu had in working with Blomfeld and how it become difficult to let a person who had murdered so many and caused so much hatred to exist in the country could be let go, but forgive he did.

And while I’m looking forward to this film, it does highlight some of the frustrations I have with studios not giving enough of the local South African talent a chance, rather just keeping the local actors to fulfill the minor roles, while foreigners take on the lead roles and do their best to win an Oscar nomination in portraying a South Africa accent.

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Say what you want about the acting talent in the country, but surely these films would be more authentic if we give people who understand the brutal realities of the subject matter an opportunity to shine in these roles Yes, it might not then be deemed as Oscar worthy, but surely the intention of any movie should be to make the best movie possible and not the one which is mostly likely to have well received acting performances. I also understand the box office pull of bigger stars, but it would be even better in my opinion if producers instead were willing to give an unknown a shot.

And I say none of this to discredit Whitaker and Bana who are both talented actors who I’m sure will do a great job in their given roles. I would just like to see South Africans telling South African stories for a change. Yes, I know this film is not the only one guilty of it, as most Hollywood films do this. But with a subject as important as the Truth and Reconciliation commission that only South African can really understand, I thought they might finally give some local talent a chance.

The movie is still shaping up to be a good one though and something to look forward to in a strong line of South African stories turned into big films. The Forgiven is going to be directed by Roland Joffé off a  script he co-wrote with the playwright, Ashton.

If these roles of Tutu and Blomfeld could go to local actors, who would you like to see portray these characters?

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: November 1, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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