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The Lesotho film This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection will arrive in South African cinemas later this month.
The film’s production company Ucuru announced the local debut on 19 April.
The film is the first directed by a Masotho filmmaker and in the Sotho language to screen at international film festivals. It debuted at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in January where it received critical acclaim. It also screened at festivals in Montreal, Hong Kong, and Taipei.
The film also competed for nominations for this year’s Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
“It’s been an amazing journey to have our film recognised internationally and on the continent,” said producer Cait Pansegrouw.
The film also marks the final appearance of South African actress Mary Twala, who died in July last year.
“We feel privileged that it is Ma’ Mary’s final feature performance and honoured that her legend will live eternally through her astounding performance in our film,” Pansegrouw said.
A film about displacement in Lesotho
Set in the mountains of Lesotho, the film tells the story of elderly widow Mantoa (played by Twala) who grieves the recent loss of her son. Mantoa plans for her death, wishing to rest with her family in her village’s cemetery. However, a dam reservoir that threatens to displace her village uproots her plans.
Standing up for her community, Mantoa embraces a spirit of defiance and in doing so, finds a new will to live.
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese directed This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection.
The film also stars Jerry Mofokeng Wa Makhetha, Makhaola Ndebele, and Tseko Monaheng.
According to Mosese, the story of This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection is a very personal one. “When I was a child, my family was evicted from our home,” he explained.
“My grandmother’s village is undergoing forced resettlement right now. My experience of displacement has significantly impacted who I am and how I see the world. Urucu believed in me from the beginning and Cait’s passion was the driving force behind ‘Resurrection’.”
You can watch a trailer for the film below:
This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection will arrive in local cinemas on 21 May.
Feature image: Screenshot