Competition Narrative Features
The Forgotten Kingdom
DIRECTED BY ANDREW MUDGE
USA/SOUTH AFRICA/LESOTHO, 2013, 97 MIN
IN SESOTHO WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
Young Johannesburg gangster Atang reluctantly embarks on a journey to his ancestral land, the rural mountain kingdom of Lesotho, to bury his estranged father. 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 his childhood friend, now a radiant young schoolteacher. After trading in his father’s casket for a cheaper model and pawning a ring from his father’s finger, he befriends a precocious eleven-year-old orphan, and together they make the arduous journey across the breathtaking mountains of Lesotho to follow his love. Beautifully shot, written, and acted, this epic and groundbreaking film is 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.