In a small village nestled amongst the mountains of land-locked Lesotho, an 80 year old widow awaits the return of her only surviving family member: her son, a migrant worker labouring in a South African coal mine. It is Christmas and he is due home. Sombre messengers deliver the news: her son has died in a mining accident. Distraught by the sudden news of his untimely death, Mantoa struggles to find meaning in her existence.
An invisible wall of bewilderment arises and stands between Mantoa and the outside world. God, the village, and reality too, appear further and further away. Consumed by grief, her yearning for death and reuniting with her family steadily grows. She yearns to be laid to rest in the local cemetery with her loved ones.
Mantoa winds up her affairs early and makes arrangements for her own burial. Her plans are punctuated when she learns that the village is to be forcibly resettled due to the construction of a dam reservoir. The land will be flooded and the cemetery desecrated. Mantoa’s resolve is unwavering; igniting a collective spirit of defiance within the community. In the final dramatic moments of her life, Mantoa’s legend is forged and made eternal.
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