DIFF student review – The Forgotten Kingdom: The transformation of a grey life

2013-07-25 16:55

City Press is proud to host student reviews of the films on offer at the Durban International Film Festival. The students are postgraduates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Culture, Communication and Media Studies department.

Lesotho is home to the protagonist in this film, Atang – a lost soul in Hillbrow, Joburg.

Atang, also known as Joseph, is split between his new life in the City of Gold and a cold, forbidden truth about his past, family and father.

Joseph unexpectedly hears about his father’s passing and makes a trip to a tin town to see the decomposing body and takes charge of the burial plans, with the help of the local community who assists him in gathering resources to build a temporary coffin to transport the body by train to Lesotho.

We learn just how poverty stricken Atang is as he goes about making funeral payments. He starts off at a mortuary where he trades his father’s chosen casket for a cheaper one, disregarding the dignified funeral his father had planned for himself.

Taken aback by his childhood memories of a father, a deserter, Atang reunites with Dineo, an old friend who triggers the emotional journey he had avoided for a long time.

Dineo, a teacher, reminds Atang that living simply is not the worst thing.

We see him reconnect with the tangle-free life of the Basotho while bringing hope into Dineo’s life – she is is faced with the responsibility of looking after her HIV-positive sister.

Along his journey, Atang meets a mysterious boy who follows him everywhere he goes. The wise boy furthers Atang’s journey of recovery and unknowingly teaches him how to love again.

The film is a beautiful story about a grey life converted into a colourful one, with the help of the people Atang meets along the way.


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