fbpx Biennale Cinema 2019 | This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection
La Biennale di Venezia

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This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection

Biennale College Cinema
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Cait Pansegrouw
Running Time:
Main Cast:
Mary Twala Mhlongo, Jerry Mofokeng Wa, Makhetha, Makhaola Ndebele, Tseko Monaheng, Siphiwe Nzima
Pierre De Villiers
Lemogang Jeremiah Mosese
Production Designer:
Leila Walter
Costume Designer:
Nao Serati
Yu Miyashita


In a small village nestled amongst the mountains of land-locked Lesotho, an 80 year old widow awaits the return of her only surviving family member: her son, a migrant worker labouring in a South African coal mine. It is Christmas and he is due home. Sombre messengers deliver the news: her son has died in a mining accident. Distraught by the sudden news of his untimely death, Mantoa struggles to find meaning in her existence.
An invisible wall of bewilderment arises and stands between Mantoa and the outside world. God, the village, and reality too, appear further and further away. Consumed by grief, her yearning for death and reuniting with her family steadily grows. She yearns to be laid to rest in the local cemetery with her loved ones.
Mantoa winds up her affairs early and makes arrangements for her own burial. Her plans are punctuated when she learns that the village is to be forcibly resettled due to the construction of a dam reservoir. The land will be flooded and the cemetery desecrated. Mantoa’s resolve is unwavering; igniting a collective spirit of defiance within the community. In the final dramatic moments of her life, Mantoa’s legend is forged and made eternal.

Director’s Statement

I still know every texture of my grandmother’s house; its walls, its thatched roof, the smell of oak trees after rain. Soon it will be no more. Soon it will be razed and flooded and water will be channeled into the heart of South Africa. Communities are being erased en masse in the name of progress. Forgotten in a soulless march towards futurity. I am not for or against progress. I am more interested in questioning the psychological, spiritual and social elements that come with it. New and old. Birth and death. An ecclesiastical reverence to the earth. Through Mantoa’s eyes, we see that there is a lot of darkness to face, but ultimately this is a story about the resilience of the human spirit.


PRODUCTION 1: Cait Pansegrouw, Elias Ribeiro – Urucu Media
5 Howe Street
7925 – Cape Town, South Africa
Tel. 27833950088

PRESS OFFICE: La Biennale di Venezia
Ca’ Giustinian – San Marco 1364/A
30124 – Venezia, Italy
Tel. +39 041 2726 644

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Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema