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The Forgiven— Digital Second Screening (2021)

  • Gala Presentations, Drama
  • 1h 57m
  • United Kingdom

Jessica Chastain, Ralph Fiennes, Caleb Landry Jones, Christopher Abbott, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Marie-Josée Croze lead a stellar ensemble cast in this wild foray into opulence, sin, and reckoning set deep in the Moroccan desert.

On the verge of divorce, wealthy couple David (Fiennes) and Jo (Chastain, also appearing at the Festival in The Eyes of Tammy Faye) are on their way to a lavish weekend party, and accidentally run over and kill a young Moroccan man trying to sell fossils by the roadside. They put his body in their car and arrive at the party at a mansion hosted by a worldly gay couple. Once the body is tucked away in the bowels of the villa, the partygoers return to the circus of dancing, drugs, and debauchery. The next morning, David’s buzz becomes a hangover as he’s forced to reckon with the boy’s father and meet his own fate. For the others, the party must go on.

Making his TIFF debut, John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) 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.

A weekend of fun reveals a world of oppression in this bold and sly critique driven by star-studded performances.


Larry Smith


Chris Gill

Executive Producer

Norman Merry

Executive Producer

Peter Hampden

Executive Producer

Phil Hunt

Executive Producer

Compton Ross

Executive Producer

Jack Heller

Executive Producer

Scott Veltri

Executive Producer

Kimberly Fox

Executive Producer

Donald Povieng

Executive Producer

Ollie Madden

Executive Producer

Daniel Battsek

Executive Producer

Lawrence Osborne


Elizabeth Eves


Trevor Matthews


Nick Gordon

Production Designer

Willem Smit


John Michael McDonagh

Author of Original Work

Lawrence Osborne


Ivor Talbot

Primary External Publicist


Composer of Original Score

Lorne Balfe

International Sales Agent

MadRiver Pictures


Arabic, Tamazight, English, French