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'This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection' in the running for Golden Globe nod

A scene from ‘This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection’. Picture: Supplied.

A scene from ‘This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection’. Picture: Supplied.

Published Dec 9, 2020


Mosotho film, “This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection” has been long-listed for a Golden Globe award in the category, Foreign Language Film.

The film stars late South African screen legend Mary Twala and is a haunting tribute to land, community and ancestry.

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The visually striking drama, set in the mountains of Lesotho, opens with an elderly widow named Mantoa (Mary Twala), grieving the loss of her son.

Determined to die and be laid to rest with her family, her plans are interrupted when she discovers that the village and its cemetery will be forcibly resettled to make way for a dam reservoir.

Refusing to let the dead be desecrated, she finds a new will to live and ignites a collective spirit of defiance within her community.

This is the first time a Mosotho film has been submitted for this prestigious accolade.

Each year the Hollywood Foreign Press association awards the Golden Globe in the Foreign Language Film category to a film with at least 51% of the dialogue in a language other than English.

This year 138 foreign language films were eligible for the award. Most of the submissions have been viewed via digital links instead of physical screenings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection” is the first film from Lesotho, made by a Mosotho filmmaker, to screen at an international festival.

Directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, the film was viewed by critics as one of the best at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered in January.

It started its Oscar-qualifying run on November 27 November at cinemas in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and screened until December 4, in line with the rules for qualifying films for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards.

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For director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, the film is deeply personal.

“When I was a child, my family was evicted from our home,” he says. “My grandmother’s village is undergoing forced resettlement right now.

“My experience of displacement has significantly impacted who I am and how I see the world.

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“Urucu believed in me from the beginning and Cait’s passion was the driving force behind ‘Resurrection’, ” said Mosese.

The film has also been nominated for several Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs), including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Mary Twala), Achievement in Cinematography, and Achievement in Production Design. The awards ceremony will be held on 20 December 2020.

“It’s been an amazing journey to have our film recognised internationally and on the continent.

“It’s a remarkable piece of cinema, and we are thrilled that it has been singled out for recognition in so many different regions.

“We feel privileged that it is Ma’ Mary’s final feature film and honoured that her legend will live eternally through her astounding performance in our film,” said producer Cait Pansegrouw of URUCU.

”This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection” will release in South Africa in 2021.

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