Forest Whitaker And Eric Bana On The Big Screen In SA With ‘The Forgiven’

The long-awaited film, The Forgiven, is a fictionalised account of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s efforts as the head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  The drama follows Archbishop Desmond Tutu, masterfully portrayed by Forest Whitaker (Black Panther, Rogue One), and his struggle – morally and intellectually – with brutal murderer and member of a former apartheid-era hit squad, Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Lone Survivor), over redemption and forgiveness.

While it has been two decades since the TRC concluded, director Roland Joffé’s new film returns to that time to grapple with the terrible truths of apartheid and its legacy.  The film opens at South African cinemas nationwide this Friday, 5 October, 2018.

THE FORGIVEN highlights Archbishop Tutu’s efforts to confront the atrocities of apartheid in an attempt to heal and unite South Africa.  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.

The film will be shown at the following cinemas around the country:

  • Ster-Kinekor Tygervalley
  • Ster-Kinekor Blue Route
  • Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront
  • Ster-Kinekor Gateway
  • Ster-Kinekor Cedar Square
  • Ster-Kinekor Brooklyn
  • Ster-Kinekor Rosebank
  • Ster-Kinekor Cresta
  • Nu Metro Hyde Park
  • Nu Metro V&A Waterfront
  • Movies@Monte
  • Labia Orange Street

Based on Michael Ashton’s play, The Archbishop and the Antichrist (the playwright collaborated with Joffé on the screenplay), Joffé explains the reasoning behind the film: “This is a subject that’s both social and political but also rather personal, because let’s be honest, we’ve all done things in our lives that we need forgiveness for, that we haven’t come to terms with. We’re all prisoners of our history, whether it’s social, cultural or family.”

Two-time academy nominee Joffé has gained a reputation for hard-hitting political stories and THE FORGIVEN, like his 1984 cinematic breakthrough The Killing Fields, is cerebral and unflinchingly violent in its depiction of South Africa’s recent political history.

Academy Award winner Whitaker delivers a finely nuanced performance, conveying Tutu’s formidable inner strength, dignity and compassion. Having previously portrayed a South African in the film Zulu (2013), he already had an informed understanding of South Africa’s history, which he utilises to add depth and power to his performance as the Archbishop.

Despite being one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed actors, Whitaker confessed that playing Tutu proved to be one of the biggest challenges of his career. “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.”

Bana, too, delivers a powerhouse performance, using his physicality and charisma to make a loathsome character suitably scary, but also very human.

“This is probably the most intimidating character I’ve ever played,” admits the Australian actor. “The key to the character, for me, was just throwing myself into South African history. There was so much that I needed to know, before I could stand any chance of understanding where Blomfeld’s warped sense of entitlement came from. It was just one of those roles where you have to really jump into the deep end, and trying to learn and understand a lot of the history was the first step.”

Produced by Craig Baumgarten and South African producing partner, Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat from Light and Dark Films, the film was shot completely in and around Cape Town, including at one of the world’s most dangerous prison facilities, Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison. It also boasts strong performances by South African actors Jeff Gum, Morné Visser and Thandi Makhubele.

According to the producers, the story is poignant and timely. “It reminds us of Archbishop Tutu’s gift of forgiveness and the healing it brings, and we are honoured to tell this story.”

The Archbishop himself has given the project his blessing, saying: “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. 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.”

With potent acting, relevant social commentary, adept writing and direction, THE FORGIVEN is a powerful film, and the ultimate testament to the power of forgiveness and finding common ground in our humanity.

THE FORGIVEN was produced by international award-winning feature film and television production company Light and Dark Films. The film will be released in cinemas, nationwide, on 5 October 2018, and is distributed by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd.



Oleanna – Must Close 20 October 2018 | The Fugard

Strictly limited season – must close 20 October 2018.

Eric Abraham presents a Fugard Theatre production of Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet’s powerful and searingly topical play presented in The Fugard Studio Theatre for a strictly limited season, with no chance of an extension.

In Oleanna, a female college student engages with her male professor in a heated discussion about his lesson content and teaching style. The relationship of a somewhat pedantic teacher and his student quickly turns into a fiendishly acute x-ray of the mechanisms of status, censorship, abuse and a charge of sexual harassment. It examines the explosive and relevant contemporary issues of the assumption of power, intellectual freedom and sexual politics against the background of academic, institutional and structural inequality.

Starring award-winning actor and comedian Alan Committie (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Love Factually, Defending the Caveman) as John, opposite actress and TV star Nicole Fortuin (SABC 3’s RoerJouVoete, Generations – The Legacy, Swartwater, and Warner Bros’ A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits) as Carol, this hard-hitting two-hander will be presented in The Fugard Studio Theatre for a strictly limited season and must close on 20 October.

Please note: Oleanna carries an age restriction of 16 for mature content and violence. Themes and content of sexual harassment and violence against women are prevalent at certain times in the play.

Read More | Book Now


Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt High School Comedy Now Streaming On Showmax

In A.P. Bio, now first and only on Showmax, Glenn Howerton (Dennis from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) stars as Jack Griffin,  a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar who’s forced to return to Toledo, Ohio, and work as a high school Advanced Placement biology teacher.

As he comes crashing into Whitlock High School (literally), Jack bluntly informs his students that he will not be teaching any biology.

A.P. BIO — Pilot — Pictured: Glenn Howerton as Jack — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

“Here’s the deal. I do not care about biology. We’re not going to do any biology in here. And to be perfectly clear, this won’t be one of those things where, over the course of the year, I secretly teach it to you. This also won’t be one of those things where I end up learning more from you than you do from me,” says Jack, skewering two of the traditional tropes of high school teacher stories before the credits have even rolled. “I know more than all of you combined so that doesn’t make any sense.”

Instead, he continues. “I’m going to spend the majority of my time mentally breaking my nemesis, with the ultimate goal of taking his job as the head of Stanford Philosophy, and then, I’m gonna have sex with as many women as I possibly can throughout the entire state of California. But, you don’t need to concern yourselves with that.”

While not all critics thought that was a politically correct set-up for a comedy in 2018, NBC has already renewed the show for a second season. Indiewire called A.P. Bio “Smart. Surprising. Delightful. Plays against expectation to earn that A… An ensemble comedy with exciting players in every part.” And AVClub wrote, “Glenn Howerton is hilarious” and called the comedy “brisk, funny, and reliably surprising.”

Emmy winner (and stand-up comic) Patton Oswalt (Parks and Recreation, Young Adult) co-stars. “I play the principal, who is very, very excited to have a Harvard professor there, but in order to keep said professor I really have to put up with a lot from him,” says Patton. “My relationship with him is the same as a road manager with a demanding rock star. He’s the guy who’s bringing in the prestige and money so I have to put up with his insane demands.”

The half-hour comedy is created by five-time Emmy nominee Mike O’Brien (Saturday Night Live), who also executive produces with Emmy-winning SNL alumni Seth Meyers, Lorne Michaels and Mike Schoemaker, among others.

“It comes from the feeling of having grown up in the Midwest in a small town just outside of Toledo, and then working in New York for Saturday Night Live, and flying back and forth for the holidays, and feeling the contrast of those two worlds,” says Mike. “I thought it would be an interesting character trait to look down on where you come from, because you were fancy for a few years, but to be slowly won over by it again.”

“I’m always looking for a really original voice and a style of humour I’ve never seen before,” says Glenn, who’s also a co-creator and writer on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. “Mike really has that unique sensibility and that ability to write simple, believable yet really funny dialogue. His gift with dialogue is my favourite thing about the show.”

Patton agrees. “It’s amazing: every script is just joke-packed.” (Although Mike says a lot of the best lines came from late additions from Patton himself. “He’s hilarious as a stand-up comedian, so sometimes I tap him for an extra joke or a line,” says Mike. “He’s a really fast writer so he can think up better lines on the fly most of the time than I can.”)

The comedy-all-star directing line-up include Emmy winner Ryan Case (Modern Family) and Emmy nominees Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), Osmany Rodriguez (The Last Man On Earth), and Daniel Gray Longino (Who Is America?), not to mention BAFTA nominees Julie Anne Robinson (Orange is the New Black) and Tristram Shapeero (Peep Show), and Sundance winner Lynn Shelton (Glow).

A.P. BIO — “Overachieving Virgins” Episode 107 — Pictured: Glenn Howerton as Jack Griffin — (Photo by: Vivian Zink/NBC)

“Praise is due to Oz Rodriguez, director of the pilot and several early episodes, for establishing an aesthetic that is instantly distinctive,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s a highly stylized drabness typified by accentuating certain colors like teal and orange at the expense of primary colors… Admirable in a world in which so few comedies take visual risks.”

Laugh your way through all 13 episodes of A.P. Bio, first and only on Showmax.


What To Stream On Showmax: October – December 2018


2018 Emmy winner

Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, this Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated series explores a world in which every human appetite could be indulged without consequence – until now. Season two has an 86% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Westworld builds on its experimental first season, diving deeper into the human side of AI without losing any of its stylish, bloody glory.” Thandie Newton (Maeve) won the 2018 Emmy for Best Supporting Actress. Binge now.


First on Showmax

“Your memories will eat you alive. Enter the No-End House at your own peril.” The second season of Channel Zero has a rare 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus is its “central mystery is stronger and scarier than Channel Zero’s first, solidifying its status as one of TV’s scariest horror offerings.” Binge now.

Our pick for Halloween.


First on Showmax

When his dream job is stolen, a philosophy scholar (Glenn Howerton from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) becomes a biology teacher at Whitlock High School, run by Principal Durbin (Emmy-winner Patton Oswalt). But instead of teaching science, Jack uses his honour-roll students to get back at the people in his life who have wronged him. Creator Michael Patrick O’Brien has five Emmy nominations for his writing on Saturday Night Live. Binge now.


First on Showmax

Series 11 marks the arrival of the thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), with three new friends (Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole) and a new showrunner in Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch). Watch new episodes weekly from 8 October, express from the UK.


First on Showmax

Kathryn (Golden Globe winner Jennifer Garner) gathers together her meek sister, her holier-than-thou ex-best friend and a free-spirited tagalong to mark her husband David’s 44th birthday – but what was supposed to be a delightful, back-to-nature camping trip quickly becomes a weekend of tested marriages and woman-on-woman crime that won’t soon be forgotten. David Tennant (Broadchurch, Jessica Jones) and Oscar-nominee Juliette Lewis co-star in this eight-part HBO comedy from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner (Girls). Binge from 15 October 2018.

Based on the BAFTA-nominated 2016 British series of the same name.


The Bold Type S1 (Binge now)
Inspired by the life of former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, The Bold Type is about three friends working at a fictional women’s magazine. The hit show has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for its “aspirational yet refreshingly realistic portrait of young women’s careers, friendships and love lives in a big city.” The Bold Type was nominated for both the Teen Choice Summer TV Show and GLAAD’s Outstanding Comedy Series awards, among others. Binge now.

Sleep Tight S1 (due 08/10)
In the tradition of The Twilight Zone, each episode pulls you inside a new nightmare as Gen Z’s favourite influencers fight to survive strange and supernatural horrors you can never unsee. From AwesomenessTV, who just sold to Viacom and also brought you Showmax favourites You’ve Been T@gged and Freakish.

The White Queen S1 (due 08/10)
It’s 1464 and two British royal houses are caught in a blood feud over who should rule. Love, lust, dreams and ambition tangle in a bloody conflict where everyone is a pawn trying to be the kingmaker in this thrilling adult drama based on Philippa Gregory’s bestselling novel. Nominated for three Golden Globes, four Emmys and a People’s Choice Award for Favourite Miniseries.

Line of Duty S1-4 (due 18/10)
This hit English cop show follows AC-12, the police anti-corruption unit tasked with investigating others on the force. Season four stars 2018 Emmy-winner Thandie Newton (Westworld), who was nominated for her role in Line of Duty as Best Lead Actress at this year’s BAFTAs, where the acclaimed show was also up for Best Drama Series, The Must-See Moment Award, and Best Supporting Actor (Adrian Dunbar). IMDB Top Rated TV: #199.

Future Man S1 (due 01/11)
Josh Futturman (MTV, Teen Choice and People’s Choice winner Josh Hutcherson from The Hunger Games), a janitor by day and a gamer by night, is recruited by mysterious visitors to travel through time to prevent the extinction of humanity. From some of the guys who brought you Sausage Party and This Is The End.

The Handmaid’s Tale S2 (due 01/11)
In a dystopian future, fertile women are forced to live as concubines under a fundamentalist theocratic dictatorship. As Moira, Samira Wiley won the Emmy for Best Guest Actress this year: the series’ tenth Emmy in two seasons, while at this year’s Golden Globes, Elisabeth Moss won Best Actress and the first season was named Best Drama.

The Girlfriend Experience S1 (due 03/12)
Executive produced by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh, The Girlfriend Experience is based on his film of the same name about a high-end Manhattan call girl. In the lead role, Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) was up for Best Actress at the Golden Globes. “TV’s most adult show.” Newsday.

The Deuce S2 (due 03/12)
The Deuce chronicles that moment in time when sex went from being a back-alley, brown-paper-bag commodity to a billion-dollar industry in America. Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon (The Wire), The Deuce stars Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart) in a Golden Globe-nominated role as a prostitite turned pornographer. The series, which is also written by award-winning novelists like Meg Abbott, Richard Price and Lisa Lutz, was nominated for a 2018 Writers Guild of America Award for Best New Series.

Runaways S2 (due 22/12)
All teenagers have moments when they think their parents are evil. But when six teens realise their parents really are supervillains, they band together to stop them. A 2018 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films nominee for Best Superhero Series.

This is just a small selection of the confirmed series coming to Showmax; many more will be added as contracts are finalised in the coming weeks. Please note schedules are subject to change.

Browse everything coming to Showmax in October


‘Nobody’s Fool’ In Cinemas 2 November 2018 In South Africa

From writer / director Tyler Perry, comes a Paramount Pictures comedy, starring Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley, Whoopi Goldberg.

Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up, by the book sister Danica (Tika Sumpter) to help her get back on track. As these polar opposites collide with hilarious and sometimes disastrous results, Tanya discovers that Danica’s picture-perfect life including her mysterious boyfriend may not be what it seems.

Nobody’s Fool opens 2 November 2018, in South African cinemas.