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Resurrection is already one of the most esteemed African films ever to hit the international festival circuit, earning the Special Jury Prize for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, before taking home Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Cinematography at Africa’s Academy Awards. Deserving comparison with the work of Pedro Costa, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Souleymane Cissé, This Is Not a Burial marks the introduction of a major filmmaker and the final powerhouse performance of a remarkable actress. The late Mary Twala Mhlongo, recognizable from Beyoncé’s blockbuster musical Black Is King, gives a heartbreaking career-capping performance as Mantoa, an 80-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village for her entire life.

 

Cryptic, impressionistic, and informed by magical realist literature, This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection contains some of the most striking visual compositions in contemporary cinema, all the more impressive considering this is the first feature-length film for both cinematographer Pierre de Villiers and production designer Leila Walter. The cumulative power of Mantoa’s sacrificial crusade, Mhlongo’s earthy performance, and Mosese’s visionary artistry announce an unmistakable landmark in African cinema.

  • Year
    2019
  • Runtime
    117 minutes
  • Language
    Sesotho, Southern Sotho with English subtitles
  • Country
    Lesotho, South Africa, Italy
  • Note
    Content Consideration: Depiction of blood, violence, and incident of nudity
  • Director
    Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
  • Screenwriter
    Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
  • Producer
    Cait Pansegrouw, Elias Ribeiro
  • Co-Producer
    Daniel Caleb, James Matthes
  • Cast
    Mary Twala Mlongo, Jerry Mofokeng Wa Makhetha, Makhaola Ndebele, Tseko Monaheng, Siphiwe Nzima
  • Cinematographer
    Pierre de Villiers
  • Editor
    Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
  • Production Design
    Leila Walter
  • Composer
    Yu Miyashita
  • Sound Design
    Pressure Cooker Studios