Forest Whitaker To Play Desmond Tutu In "The Archbishop And The Antichrist"

News
by Tambay A. Obenson
February 15, 2012 11:17 AM
5 Comments
  • |

I'm looking forward to reading the reactions to this piece of news, given recent debates/discussions...

Forest Whitaker has signed on to play another prominent African figure - this time it's Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a project by Roland Joffe, titled The Archbishop And The Antichrist.

Ahem :)

The film will be based on the play by Michael Ashton, and center on the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings - a post-apartheid commissioning in which victims took an active role in the judicial process (called on to give accounts of the gross human rights violations they were subjected to), while offenders were encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, "to repair the harm they caused."

Joffe's film will reportedly imagine a meeting fictional between the real Tutu (and the people in his personal and political affairs while he works on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission), and a boorish white South African mass murderer called Piet Blomfeld.

Joffe is adapting Michael Ashton's play himself - a play I'm not familiar with. Although I did a little digging and found this write-up of it from early last year, which should give us an idea of what to expect:

Writer, ex-prisoner and former barrister Michael Ashton provokes some interesting thoughts on the relationship between truth and justice and whether the former necessarily results in the latter. Does confession really result in an easier healing process and, for South Africa in particular, how can a nation begin to come to terms with the crimes committed in its name? Equally impressive is his ability to boil the issues down and present them in one man’s struggle to come to terms with his actions during apartheid. The Archbishop and The Antichrist is multilayered and incredibly rich. If you approach it already familiar with the events, there’s an enormous amount of historical and political questioning to feast on. And without such familiarity, there are the confused and absorbing thoughts of one death-row prisoner, Piet Blomfield, as he wrestles with redemption. Blomfield, the self-title ‘antichrist’ manages to get the archbishop to visit him in prison where he questions the purpose and effectiveness of the TRC. His cynicism and his confused regard for religion is embodied fantastically by Oscar Pearce. Pearce’s constant foot-tapping and chain-jangling draw the audience into his world and the whirl of thoughts in his head. With Blomfield, the archbishop faces direct questions that require direct answers. There’s no beating about the bush with Blomfield, who does his best to swerve the grey areas. It’s a striking contrast to Tutu’s meetings with FW de Klerk and the TRC who endlessly talk in circles, unable to get to concrete conclusions. de Klerk is played by the brilliant Peter Cartwright, one member of a flawless cast including Jeffrey Kisson as Desmond Tutu, Pamela Nomvete as his wife and Dona Croll as his secretary. The only criticism I have of the play is a minor staging issue. At times the physical distance between de Klerk and the archbishop make it difficult to focus. Their tennis match of words doesn’t need to be highlighted any further by making them sit so far apart as they deliver their lines. Especially as there is such a great space in the centre thanks to the effective in-the-round seating. There are rarely more than two characters on stage at a time and the clever lighting makes each scene feel like a confrontation in a restrained boxing ring. The characters can seem intensely close, like Desmond and his wife, or tragically far apart, like when Winnie Mandela shows up. It’s an epic fictionalised take on events...

I'm sure our friends at Africa Is A Country have some thoughts on this and I'm looking forward to reading them.

Although, quite frankly, I'm having a difficult time imagining Whitaker as Tutu. But let's see what they come up with here...

News
  • |

More: casting

You might also like:
Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

5 Comments

  • Africasacountry | February 16, 2012 7:13 AMReply

    Hi Tambay: Basia will hopefully have a post up soon.

  • Africasacountry | February 16, 2012 7:08 AMReply

    Serious. The light skinned dark skin nonsense again...

  • Zeus | February 15, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    No one will raise hell about this because: 1) Forest is a man portraying another man 2) He's not light skinned.

  • Boomslang | February 15, 2012 3:45 PM

    I don't. Forrest is phenomenal in my opinion.He is superior that's all nah mean !. But I'll like to point out that he is an african american playing a continental african.This will be his second african leading roleThe mentality of some shadowandact users is "black foreigners" are eating more than they deserve. Tutu is both controversial and iconic.

  • Bitter Broads of America | February 15, 2012 2:50 PM

    Where can I sign the petition?

Follow Shadow and Act

Email Updates

Most "Liked"

  • Taraji P. Henson Drama 'From The Rough' ...
  • Electro (Jamie Foxx) Faces Off Against ...
  • Watch Omar Sy In Action As Bishop In ...
  • Black Movie Trivia - Congrats to our ...
  • Interview: Chatting with RZA About Paul ...
  • Sidney Poitier Made Oscar History Today ...
  • Critically-Acclaimed Doc 'The Trials ...
  • Weekend B.O. April 11-13 (Close, But ...
  • GLAAD Awards Honors Jennifer Lopez-Produced ...
  • A Look At Seattle International Film ...