The Forgotten Kingdom
Time Out says
The landlocked nation of Lesotho has been largely overlooked by cinema, which makes this thoughtful road movie even more fascinating
Following the death of his father, streetwise loser Atang (Zenzo Ngqobe) reluctantly leaves Johannesburg to return home for the funeral in Lesotho. The tiny, mountainous nation’s traditions and superstitions are at odds with Atang’s urban cynicism and cold practicalities. Events conspire to keep our man from returning, and what follows is a road movie, of sorts, as he befriends a confident shepherd boy and heads across the country on horseback, his roots restrengthening with every person they encounter on the way.
Atang’s development is total and satisfyingly subtle, but the introduction of a former childhood friend as a love interest feels arbitrary, and his pint-sized companion – wise and witty well beyond his years – could have been put to good use in a few more scenes. But the message is still clear, and it’s one that any city-dwelling migrant can relate to: sometimes growing up and understanding your identity means heading back to where you come from, burying your bitterness and tolerating the weird ways of a place you’ve long since left behind.
Cast and crew