Mary Twala’s swan song performance to premier at the Durban International Film Festival

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Played by the late veteran actress Mary Twala, Mantoa leads her community in defying forced removals in Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese's cinematic debut. (Supplied)
Played by the late veteran actress Mary Twala, Mantoa leads her community in defying forced removals in Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese's cinematic debut. (Supplied)
  • This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection is the first film from Lesotho, made by a Mosotho filmmaker to be screened internationally
  • It won the Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2020  Sundance Film Festival
  • After premiering at the Durban International Film Festival it will be showcased in South African theatres in 2021


This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection will have its South African premier at the 2020 Durban International Film Festival.  

Directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection tells the story of Mantoa, a widow who is grieving the loss of her son. Played by the late veteran actress Mary Twala, Mantoa is determined to die in order to be laid to rest with her family.

However her plans are interrupted when she learns that her village and its burial group will soon be cleared to make way for a dam reservoir. Refusing to let the dead be desecrated, Mantoa ignites her community into defiance.  


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.
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

The film was produced by production company Urucu. Speaking about making the film Urucu’s Cait Pansegrouw said:  

We lived in the mountains, with limited access to water and electricity and fought against extreme weather conditions, all while transporting Mary (Twala) to location on horseback… I know both Mary and casting director Moonyeenn Lee, both of whom are no longer with us, will be with us in spirit as we bring this film to our local audiences.
Cait Pansegrouw


The film, which also stars Jerry Mofokeng, Makhaola Ndebele and Tseko Monaheng earned Mosese the Special Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2020  Sundance Film Festival in January.  

After the Durban International Film Festival, This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection will be released in South African theatres in 2021 by Indigenous Film Distribution. For more information visit www.indigenousfilm.co.za

 The Durban International Film Festival runs from 10 to 20 September 2020. For more information visit ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za/


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