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The Forgotten Kingdom

Written and Directed by Andrew Mudge

Featuring: Zenzo Ngqobe (Atang) • Nozipho Nkelemba (Dineo) • Jerry Mofokeng (Katleho) • Lebohang Ntsane (Orphan Boy) •Moshoeshoe Chabeli (Priest) • Lillian Dube (Doctor) • Jerry Phele (Atang's father)

Cinematography by Carlos Carvalho

Music by Robert Miller

Review by Amaliah S. Marmon-Halm

This wonderful feature length film directed and written by Andrew Mudge tells the story of Atang (Zenzo Ngqobe) known to his friends as Joseph, a young city-dweller who returns to his homeland to fulfil his father’s last wishes to be buried in the beautiful and mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho. He comes across as a very angry and troubled young man, who spends most of his time roaming and partying in Johannesburg.

Even though he is reluctant and feels like a stranger in the land of his hometown, Atang ends up falling in love with his childhood friend, Dineo (Nozipho Nkelemba), a beautiful young schoolteacher who cares for her younger sister, who is sick with HIV/AIDS. Through Dineo, he learns to feel part of the community, what it is like to feel wanted and builds a reconnection to his home. However, things do not remain peaceful for long, as Atang is left robbed, poor and homeless and also, Dineo’s tyrannical father thwarts their budding romance on both sides and relocates the family to a remote village in the northern regions where he can better hide his shame over his daughter’s illness.

Determined to find Dineo and her whereabouts, Atang must reach out to the somewhat aloof chief and his straightforward wife, a sketchy witch doctor and a precocious eleven year-old orphan boy for help. He and the boy must make the arduous journey across the breathtaking rugged mountains to find her. What he learns and experiences along the way forces Atang to surrender to the rhythm and traditions of the land and to make peace with his father and the life he once led. It also makes him put aside his own selfish tendencies to help others along the way.

The cinematography in this is absolutely stunning. The nomadic charms of the people, beautiful scenery and the rolling mountains all transport you to a place that only few would be lucky to see. This is a true tale of love, loss and re-establishing what if means to find your home and think outside of your own bubble. It's a beautiful and heartfelt production that is sure to do well with many.


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