By: Anele Nzimande (@Anele_Nzimande)
The Forgotten Kingdom, recipient of the ‘Audience Narrative award’ at the Ashland Independent Film Festival, is a tale of lost identity, redemption and the extent to which a loss can transform a person.
Director: Andrew Mudge
Cast: Lillian Dube, Moshoeshoe Chabeli, Jerry Mofokeng and Zenzo Ngqobe
Language: SeSotho (English Subtitles)
Showing: Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau
The Forgotten Kingdom, recipient of the ‘Audience Narrative award’ at the Ashland Independent Film Festival, is a tale of lost identity, redemption and transformation. This is a South African film which boasts a talented cast including Zenzo Ngqobe who starred in the Academy award winning Tsotsi and veteran actress Lillian Dube.
Set against the backdrop of Hillbrow, Johannesburg and the neighbouring country of Lesotho, the film tells the story of Atang Biyela (played by Zenzo Ngqobo), a young city slicker who moves to the city of Johannesburg as a child with his father and subsequently becomes hardened by the streets of Hillbrow. The story unravels very quickly and unnaturally, and within the first few minutes of the film Atang makes a sombre discovery which sees him heading to Lesotho to fulfill his fathers wishes. In Lesotho, he is reunited with a childhood friend, Dineo, and the two instantly become lovers entangled in a somewhat contrived liaison amoureuse.
Without giving away the entire plot, I can say that too much of an expectation is placed on the viewer to make certain inferences to piece the story together. The film insists on exploring too many saturated themes and subplots, at times, even relating events to the viewer that add no value to the film as a whole. Overall, the actors give credible performances in spite of the unoriginal plot, and the use of SeSotho gives the film the authenticity it desperately needs.
Visit: The Official film website.