The ongoing The Forgotten Kingdom roadshow is visiting many of its former filming locations around Lesotho to show the finished product to the people themselves. The sentiment is beautiful, if the logistics are rather cumbersome.
Since the Maseru premiere on 1 March, the roadshow team has made its way in a loop around the country – hitting every obstacle imaginable ranging from constant rain to scheduling the entire event in the wrong village. Such is life on the road.
Jenn had spent weeks coordinating a screening in the village of Phuta, where Andrew believed he had filmed some of the Basotho cultural dancing and depictions of mountain village life. Fun fact: Phuta was not the village in which he filmed, which we discovered upon arrival*. Driving an extra half hour down the road revealed the true film location, where the roadshow crew set up the inflatable screen and projector and held an impromptu screening.
The turnout? Incredible.
Sitting amidst the shepherds, bo-‘m’e, le bo-ntate as they watched the film for the first time was a treat. I smile to recognize the divide between our senses of humor: lekhua and Basotho rarely laughed at the same parts of the film. Understanding some of the Sesotho chatter throughout the screening was equally rewarding: the shepherds really got into the storyline. But above all, the reactions of the entire village as their friends and neighbors appeared on-screen were priceless.
What a cool event to experience – with the film crew, with the villagers, with Matthew and the BOTFL team visiting TTL.
The rain held off. The stars shone bright. Mountains, far as the eye can see.
I am grateful. I am full.
*It will turn out okay. The Phuta chief was in South Africa that night and the Councillor standing in for her wanted little to do with us anyway.