Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 5


Audience Score

User Ratings: 195
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Movie Info

A South African police officer still haunted by the role he played in the brutal torture and murder of a young freedom fighter travels to the dying fishing town from which the boy came to beg the forgiveness of his grieving mother and father in first-time director Ian Gabriel's unflinching look at the crumbling emotional dams that came with the end of apartheid. Upon arriving in the crumbling town of Paternoster, ex-policeman Tertius Coetzee (Mummy star Arnold Vosloo) unleashes a suffocating torrent of despair and suppressed rage in the emotionally fragile Grootboom family. Though he has come to seek forgiveness for failing to prevent the grim demise of Daniel Grootboom, the crime Tertius has committed in allowing the murder to happen has already muted the emotions of his young victim's damaged family. Hendrik Grootboom (Zane Meas) is a stoic fisherman who holds out hope that the town will one day become prosperous again as son Ernest (Christo Davids) retreats into mathematics. Meanwhile, mother Magda (Denise Newman) and daughter Sannie (Quanita Adams) simply long for the days when things were less complicated. As the shockwaves of anger ripple through the Grootbooms' hearts and home, the enraged Sannie determines to settle the score with her brother's killer by ensuring that Tertius remains in Paternoster long enough for Daniel's vengeful friends to arrive in town.


Critic Reviews for Forgiveness

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

  • Everyone's sorry about something in this glum drama about the way repentance can do more damage than the sin that precedes it.

    Jul 9, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • Though the film could have used better explainers for some of its talking heads...its message is as satisfying as the sweetest revenge.

    Jul 9, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Ultimately, the film's stilted design is more transparent than clever, for which there shouldn't be any excuse.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Gabriel and screenwriter Greg Latter tackle a thorny subject and do justice to its complexities for much of the film's running time, only succumbing to cliches of healing and closure at the end.

    Jul 9, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • More truth than reconciliation in post-Apartheid revenge flick.

    Jul 9, 2008 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Forgiveness

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