Deserving comparison with the work of Pedro Costa, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Souleymane Cissé, This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection 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. While preparing for her own death, she receives word of an accident that has killed her only son, leaving her entirely alone, with only the respect of her community, the traditions of her ancestors, and the courage of her convictions. When her community must relocate to make way for a nearby dam that would flood her family’s burial ground, Mantoa draws a line in the sand and becomes an unlikely political and spiritual leader. Cryptic, impressionistic, and informed by magical realist literature, This Is Not a Burial contains some of the most striking visual compositions in contemporary cinema.
“Every once in a while, a movie reinvigorates one’s faith in the artistic capacity of an entire medium through pure intuition of form and mastery of intent. This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection is that rare gem of a film that falls into an unclassifiable category.” —Andrew Bundy, The Playlist
Viewing Window: 7 days to start. Once you begin, you’ll have 72 hours to finish watching.
Lesotho/South Africa/Italy, 2019, 117 min, Dir. Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Not rated, Sesotho with English subtitles, Dekanalog