Forgiving someone is one of the hardest choices a human can make. These movies about forgiveness show the sadness and rawness behind forgiveness. Forgiving the murderer of your child? Forgiving oppressors that mistreated you? The nuns that took your kid? Or a father that never looked back on you. Not an easy task to do.
These films about forgiveness are not only about forgiving the other, but sometimes also about forgiving yourself. Sometimes, that is even harder. Be inspired by these stories and reflect on your own journey with forgiveness.
Starring: Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon
Invictus is a true story about leadership and forgiveness. In 1995, South Africa is hosting the Rugby World Cup. Nelson Mandela has just become president. With this sporting event, after the demise of apartheid, he hopes to bring the torn country together. But the anger between the white and black populations runs deep. “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. And that is such a powerful weapon!” speaks Mandela.
Coco revolves around Miguel, a twelve-year-old boy in whose family all forms of music have been banned. The reason lies in a distant past: his great-grandmother’s father was a musician and left his family to conquer the world. But Miguel wants nothing more than to make music. He becomes convinced that his grandfather was the famous singer Ernesto de la Cruz and goes to investigate. He ends up in the Land of the Dead and his discovery brings forgiveness back to his family.
3. A beautiful day in the neighborhood
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys and Chris Cooper
Lloyd Vogel, an award-winning and cynical journalist, reluctantly decides to interview television host Fred Rogers for Esquire magazine. However, meeting Rogers changes his outlook on life and his relationship with his own father. Based on a true story.
4. The Shack
Starring: Octavia Spencer and Sam Worthington
The Shack tells the sad story of Mack. After an intense childhood, his world collapses when his daughter Missy is kidnapped during a vacation. Torn by guilt and grief, he receives a mysterious invitation to The Shack. There, he has a special encounter that changes his life.
5. Les Miserables
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen
This musical tells the story of Jean Valjean who spent 19 years in prison for stealing a piece of bread. When he violates the terms his parole, police inspector Javert becomes obsessed with finding him. A film about the many wrongs in France and the role of forgiveness in all the misery.
Starring: Judi Dench and Steve Coogan
As a teenager, Philomena is forced to give up her illegitimate son for adoption. Fifty years later, she tries to find her child again and gets help from BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith.
7. The Hero
Starring: Sam Elliott and Laura Prepon
Lee Hayden is an older actor who shone in westerns several decades ago. He now fills his days voicing commercials, reliving his glory days and smoking cannabis. When Lee is told he has cancer, he throws his life around. He also hopes to reconnect with his estranged daughter Lucy. Will he get that chance?
8. To end all wars
Starring: Robert Carlyle, Kiefer Sutherland and Sakae Kimura
Four Allied soldiers were captured by the Japanese during World War II. They are forced to build the so-called death railroad through the Burmese jungle. A true torture. How can they ever forgive their enemies?
9. Wish man
Starring: Andrew Steel, Kirby Bliss Blanton and Frank Whaley
This film about forgiveness is about the founder of the Make-a-wish-Foundation. During a wild chase, motorcycle cop Frank Shankwitz gets into a bad accident. He narrowly survives. During his rehabilitation process, he is asked to fulfill the wish of the terminally ill little boy Michael. He also wants to be a motorcycle cop. In Michael’s eyes, Frank is a hero, but struggles with his own past.
10. In Her Shoes
Starring: Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz
This drama-comedy is about the two sisters Rose and Maggie. Both are completely different. Rose works hard as a lawyer, while Maggie can’t hold down a job and parties. After Maggie ends up in bed with her sister’s boyfriend, Rose wants no more contact. Then Maggie finds old letters from their grandmother, who they thought had passed away early. She goes looking and ends up in a senior citizen complex. Later, when Rose also discovers her grandmother’s existence, the two sisters meet again. Is there room for forgiveness?
Looking for more movies about forgiveness? Click here for the top 5 Christian movies about forgiveness.
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