The Forgotten Kingdom

The Forgotten Kingdom (PAFF 2014)
Narrative Feature/Lesotho/South Africa/98min/2013
Director: Andrew Mudge

Grown accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, a young Johannesburg hustler, Atang, reluctantly embarks on a journey to bury his estranged father. As he travels to his ancestral land in the rural mountain kingdom of Lesotho to fulfill his father’s last wish, he must quickly adjust to the more spiritual rhythms of the Basotho people. What begins as an inconvenience quickly becomes a magical rite of passage charged with humor and self-discovery. Stirred by memories of his youth, Atang’s journey takes an unexpected turn as he falls in love with Dineo, his childhood friend, now a radiant young schoolteacher. Atang asks Dineo’s father for her hand in marriage, but because he is unable to pay the bride price, her father removes Dineo to an even more remote village to keep them separated. Atang pawns his only article of value, the ring he took from his father’s finger, to finance his journey to follow his love. He also befriends a precocious eleven-year-old orphan, who becomes both his companion and spiritual guide of sorts during the arduous journey across the breathtaking mountains of Lesotho. Throughout his journey, Atang begins to encounter villagers who lead him further on this unexpected, often mystical, journey into his past. Beautifully shot, written, and acted, this epic-like film reveals a pilgrimage of hope, family, and maturity as Atang surrenders to the rhythm and traditions of his homeland. In the process, he, along with anyone watching, is transformed by the mystical beauty and hardships of the people and the land he had forgotten. Stars Zenzo Ngqobe, Nozipho Nkelemba, Jerry Mofokeng, Moshoeshoe Chabeli, Lillian Dube, Lobohang Ntsane and Sam Phillips. Best Director-First Feature Narrative, PAFF 2014; Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, Woodstock Film Festival, 2013; Best Fiction Feature, Golden Punt Audience Award, Cambridge Film Festival 2013