Mary Twala’s last film available on Box Office a year after her death
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Lesotho’s first-ever Oscar’s entry “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection’”will be available to rent on DStv BoxOffice from 2 July.
This date was intentionally earmarked by the filmmakers, who wished to honour their leading lady, Mary Twala Mhlongo, who died a year ago on July 4.
It is the first film from Lesotho, made by Mosotho filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, to ever be showcased internationally.
The film was viewed by critics as one of the best at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered in January that year and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking.
It continued to travel the world, winning a further 26 awards both locally and internationally.
The visually striking drama, set in the mountains of Lesotho, opens with an elderly widow named Mantoa (Mary Twala Mhlongo), 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 flooded and 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.
“It was incredibly challenging to release our film in cinemas during a pandemic,” said producer Cait Pansegrouw.
“There was a lot of anxiety around people’s health and safety, and this reflected in our numbers, resulting in the film being taken off circuit after a short run due to insufficient demand.
“We’re so happy that BoxOffice by DSTV will allow audiences to experience our film in the safety of their homes, over the anniversary of our beloved Ma Mary’s passing,” added Pansegrouw.
The film also stars film and television icon Jerry Mofokeng Wa Makhetha.