This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection ★★★★

Directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese and Lesotho's entry into the 93rd Academy Awards, sadly failing to make the shortlist, This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection is an intimate yet epic tale, a mysterious drama about collateral damages caused by progress. It stars Mary Twala Mhlongo as Mantoa, an elderly widow prepared to depart her life after her son and only surviving relative dies; the difficulty appears to be that the scythe carrying hooded figure seems to have overlooked her. 

Unfolding in Lesotho, a landlocked kingdom in southern Africa, her village becomes threatened with government plans to forcibly resettle the residents due to an impending land acquisition to make way for a dam. She finds a renewed will to live when she ignites the spirit of resistance and resilience within her community, spearheading them as they battle powerful, wealthy capitalist who promises the inhabitants a better life is they agree to move out. 

As Mantoa procures a small scale uprising with a few community members who revolt against the government's idea of progress, Mosese directs experimentally and poetically while simultaneously displaying an unsentimental and realistic perspective on the unavoidable parade of capitalism. It's an uncompromising film with an incredibly unsettling score and the sound design, set against the backdrop of a ghost-like existence, makes every frame exude horror. The extraordinary combination of script, visuals and sounds highlights why Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese stands as one of the best contemporary directors from the African continent.

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