Screened as part of NZIFF 2022

The Forgiven 2021

Directed by John Michael McDonagh

Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain headline a star cast dealing with the fallout from a debauched weekend in Morocco in John Michael McDonagh’s blackly comic skewering of privilege.

UK In Arabic, English and Tamazight with English subtitles
117 minutes DCP


Elizabeth Eves, Nick Gordon, Karim Debbagh


John Michael McDonagh, Lawrence Osborne. Based on the novel by Osborne


Larry Smith


Elizabeth Eves, Chris Gill

Production designer

Willem Smit

Costume designer

Keith Madden


Lorne Balfe


Ralph Fiennes (David Henninger)
Jessica Chastain (Jo Henninger)
Saïd Taghmaoui (Anouar)
Christopher Abbott (Tom Day)
Matt Smith (Richard Galloway)
Ismael Kanater (Abdellah, Taheri)
Caleb Landry Jones (Dally Margolis)
Mourad Zaoui (Hamid)
Abbey Lee (Cody)
Marie-Josée Croze (Isabelle)
Alex Jennings (Lord Swanthorne)


Toronto 2021; Tribeca, Sydney 2022


Presented in association with


“Based on a 2012 Lawrence Osborne novel that might well have been set (with only small changes) many decades earlier, John Michael McDonagh’s The Forgiven watches rich Westerners treat Morocco like their playground, scarcely noticing the poverty and disapproval surrounding their opulent parties. Imperialist-grade entitlement goes only so far in the modern world, though, and when one partyer accidentally kills a local teen, some kind of accommodation is going to have to be made. Scripted, directed and acted with intelligence and panache, it’s a very grown-up film but never a bore, a morally alert drama that leaves the scolding to us.” — John Defore, Hollywood Reporter

“Jessica Chastain and Ralph Fiennes lead a stellar ensemble cast in this wild foray into opulence, sin, and reckoning set deep in the Moroccan desert… McDonagh applies a Felliniesque lens towards the bourgeoisie, showing how their vapid pursuits prey on (or ignore) the livelihoods of others, sometimes with deadly results. The shimmer of these events, contrasted with the bleakness of the working class and Moroccan help who observe from the periphery, allows McDonagh to explore fatalistic themes of hedonism, neocolonialism, and the negligence of privilege.” — Toronto International Film Festival 2021