An unemployed young man, living aimlessly in Johannesburg, returns to the remote village of his childhood to bury his estranged father; he ends up sticking around, falling in love with a pretty schoolteacher, and reconnecting with his tribal heritage. This South African family film (2013) progresses gracefully from realism to magic realism as the hero becomes more immersed in the mystical traditions of his people, and the final half hour, in which he embarks on a spiritual quest through the mountains, feels like a contemporary folktale. Adults might find this overly sentimental (especially the scenes involving a precocious young orphan who leads the young man on his journey), though it’s ideal viewing for kids—informative, visually impressive, and generous in its worldview. Andrew Mudge directed his own script. In Sesotho with subtitles.
The Forgotten Kingdom
1 hour 41 min • 2013