The Forgiven tackles its important political and social issues in an overly talky fashion. The film has its merits, but it represents a significant comedown for the director of such classics as The Mission and The Killing Fields.
At least gives the Commission's heroic chairman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, his due by placing him front and center in its history - though it's debatable whether Forest Whitaker's glazed impersonation should be considered an honour.
No attempt is made to win over the audience. This welcome absence of sentimentality allows us to experience Tutu's own crisis of faith as he attempts to reconcile this man's actions with his bedrock belief in forgiveness.