Directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese • 2019 • Lesotho, South Africa
Starring Mary Twala, Makhaola Ndebele, Jerry Mofokeng
Berlin-based Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s devastating and hypnotic THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION marks the emergence of a major filmmaker and the swan song of a remarkable actress. The late Mary Twala Mhlongo, recognizable from Beyoncé’s blockbuster musical BLACK IS KING, gives a career-capping performance as Mantoa, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village for her entire life. While preparing for her own death, she receives word of an accident that has killed her only son, leaving her entirely alone, with only the respect of her neighbors, the traditions of her ancestors, and the courage of her convictions. When her community must relocate to make way for a nearby dam that threatens to flood her family’s burial ground, Mantoa draws a line in the sand and becomes an unlikely political and spiritual leader. Cryptic and impressionistic, this magical-realist tale of the tension between tradition and progress has already been hailed as a landmark in African cinema.