Forgiveness is a documentary about forgiveness, which seems like an excruciatingly obvious statement, but it needs to be said. This is about as audacious as documentaries get. There are no facts or statistics here, no percentages or graphs. The film seeks not to define forgiveness so much as document it, on both a personal and corporate level. Even without tons of concrete data to absorb, there's a lot to digest.
The film's broken up into two parts: the first part deals with forgiveness as a means of connecting people on an individual basis. We see and hear accounts of those seeking (or not seeking) forgiveness for violence committed during the South African Apartheid, bank robberies that caused unexpected casualties, random acts of violence, etc. The stories themselves are rather interesting, even if they seem to have been stretched a bit to fit the theme of the film. Some of them also tend to drag much longer than necessary, which in turn creates a film that's probably some 30 minutes too long.
The second half is concerned with forgiveness on a corporate level, especially the recent development of countries and nations seeking forgiveness for large-scale crimes against humanity like the Holocaust and Rwandan genocide. Although it seems like it would be less interesting, it's actually more engaging and illuminating than the first half. I only wish the whole movie had been that good.
Oddly enough, there's not a lot to Forgiveness. It's simple film about a complex issue. The second act is particularly riveting, and I can easily recommend the film to anyone interested in international relations and the diverse ways we, as a global community, react to suffering.