This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection

This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection ★★★½

Lesotho’s first ever entry to the Oscars for 2021 Best International Feature film is a blistering proclamation and a reclamation of one’s honor and dignity in This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection. Led by a fierce performance from the late Mary Twala, the film uncovers the struggle of an old woman and her community trying to save their homeland from the oppressive establishment and industrialization. Director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese injects his film with the raw beauty of Lesotho’s undiluted landscapes, and together with its alluring production design and cinematography, the film’s impact is certainly resonating, and altogether bewitching. The late Mary Twala, one of the important figures of African cinema, ignites a certain kind of ferocity that is honed by time and decades of enduring artistry. Twala’s immaculate face shapes Mosese’s abstraction as she herself becomes a director of her own film. Overall, This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection is a wonderful window to the beauty of African identity. It’s undoubtedly rigorous and demanding, but it’s one of those films that you’ll just have to surrender to appreciate its glorious beauty.

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