The late Mary Twala's last project to debut in SA cinemas

Veteran actress, Mary Twala, stars as Mantoa in her last film project.
Veteran actress, Mary Twala, stars as Mantoa in her last film project.
Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images

She's been gone for almost a year but her presence is still felt in South Africa and beyond.

Award-winning actress Mary Twala Mhlongo will once again grace the big screen. The beloved star's last project, This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection, will open in South African cinemas on 21 May 2021.

This is the last film project that Somizi’s mother worked on before she passed away. The producer of the film, Cait Pansegrouw, says despite the environmental conditions in Lesotho, the veteran star never complained for a single moment.

Read more | President Cyril Ramaphosa on the death of SA icon Mary Twala: 'We have lost a unique talent'

“She had to be transported on horse back because there are no roads or sometimes carried over mountains or through rivers and she was just a gladiator throughout the whole thing. There was nothing she said no to,” Cait says.

Ma Mary showed off her professionalism.

"Mary Twala really is and always will be the heart and soul of the film," she adds.

The film has a lot of firsts. It's the first narrative feature film shot in Lesotho and the first Oscar submission from Lesotho and made by a Mosotho, director, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese.

The film has won a string of international awards and gained widespread acclaim around the world.

It even has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – the most trusted measurement of quality for movies and TV.

The late Mary plays the lead role in the film. She is 80-year-old widower Mantoa, a woman filled with grief. Her daughter and granddaughter recently died and she then learns about the passing of her son in a mining accident in neighboring South Africa.

While going through all that, she has to deal with the fact that her precious village might be destroyed to make way for the construction of a dam.  

The film also stars television icon Jerry Mofokeng wa Makhetha, Makhoala Ndebele and Tseko Monaheng.

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