• Golden Globe Awards

This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection (Lesotho/South Africa/Italy)

Life, death and everything in between and beyond. These are the themes of This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, a film from Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, an African filmmaker and visual artist, who was born in Hlotse, a market town in Lesotho, and now lives in Berlin. This is his third feature film.
Burial/Resurrection is the story of Mantoa, an 80-year-old widow. At Christmas, she learns that her only remaining family member, her son who is a migrant laborer in a South African coal mine has died in a mining accident. This tragedy throws her into a state of despair in which she questions the meaning of her existence and life in general. She retreats from reality and escapes into a state of yearning for death to be reunited with her loved ones.
But just as she makes arrangements for her burial, she is forcefully pulled back when she hears that her village is in peril due to the construction of a dam and reservoir. All of the villagers are to be resettled against their will because their land will be flooded and the cemetery that she had planned to be laid to rest in, will disappear. Mantoa finds a sudden strength that surprises everyone and most of all herself. She becomes a natural organizer of defiance against the interests of big business.
“Long before this film was conceived, I have been wrestling with the discourse of indifference of time, nature or God when it comes to human existence”, the filmmaker says. He shot under the most difficult conditions in an area where the weather changes drastically from one minute to the other, their 4by4s broke down and the equipment had to be loaded onto and transported by donkeys to brave the muddy roads.
The film was financed through the Biennale College and first screened at the 76th Venice Festival. Director and writer Mosese, who is Mosotho – an ethnic Bantu tribe in Southern Africa – was awarded the Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the Sundance Fest 2020. His film also won the Jury Prize at Portland International Film Festival and the Grand Prize at the Taipei Film Festival. The 40-year- old Mosese, who has been called the most important emerging voice of African cinema, has no formal training aside from watching 16mm films in his childhood and is a completely self-taught artist.