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When a Lesotho community is ordered to relocate for a government project, a grieving old woman emerges as an unlikely political and spiritual leader.
“The first masterpiece of 2021 is here” –Bilge Ebiri, Vulture
Berlin-based Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s devastating and hypnotic This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection has already won over a dozen prizes on the international festival circuit — including the Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival — and Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Cinematography at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
The late Mary Twala gives her final, heartbreaking performance as Mantoa, an 80-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village her entire life. While preparing for her own death, she receives word of an accident that has killed her only son, leaving her alone — though she still has the respect of her community, the traditions of her ancestors, and the courage of her convictions. When the government orders the community to relocate and make way for a nearby dam that would flood her family’s burial ground, Mantoa draws a line in the sand and becomes an unlikely political and spiritual leader. Cryptic, impressionistic, and informed by magical-realist literature, This Is Not a Burial announces an unmistakable landmark in African cinema.
Content advisory: mature themes