The Chattering of Teeth

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Lesotho - South Africa

Synopsis

Lesotho, 1852. You are in the territory of Moshoeshoe. Thaba Bosiu (Mountain of the Night); a sandstone plateau in the Northeast. An unscalable, impenetrable fortress on top of a mountain, that legend says grows taller at night to protect its people from nocturnal sieges. Under the leadership of General Moshoeshoe, this village was forged from both the fearsome warriors in his battalion and those left destitute by the unceasing pursuit from Shaka, the Boers, the Arabs and the French. Many battles were won on this mountain stronghold and many sought refuge here.
After surviving the desert, the heat and the cruelty of warfare, Kwazi and his young son, Xius, join this village of outcasts; all desperate to evade the unceasing war and rebuild their lives. Despite this new beginning, mortal fear is imminent. Mysterious events begin to take place in the village. The “Grave People” who inhabit the foot of the mountain no longer seem to honour their age-old agreement. Kwazi grows steadily manic in his efforts to integrate his son by ridding him of his likeness. Yet by and by, the boy forges his own identity.

Fiction
3rd feature
Production

Urucu (South Africa)
Cait Pansegrouw, Elias Ribeiro
cp@urucumedia.com

Director’s statement

When I arrived in Germany years ago, I wanted to show that I was a different kind of African; one who did not sell drugs, nor came to Europe by boat, but an African man who would listen to classical music, read literature and walk his dog in a park. Fuelled by my self-loathing as someone living in the margins, I slowly turned into something else. Through Kwazi's paranoid intent to assimilate his son, he descends into madness. Into a savage. Often it's people's response to terror that becomes the terror itself. Since Covid, I have been reading a lot about sieges. In our story, the village has survived many attacks. Yet, there is still mortal fear. It's not only awaiting horror that is at play here, but the horror that emerges from the villagers themselves. And the monstrosity of fear is that it projects a face, it must have a face, and the people will do the rest.

Biographies

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese
Director

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese is a self-taught Mosotho filmmaker and visual artist based in Berlin. His documentary Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You (2019) explored his experiences in his small homeland in Africa. This personal film was selected for the Final Cut workshop at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival, where it won six awards. The documentary was also nominated for a Teddy Award at the Berlinale. Lesotho took centre stage again in his feature film This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (2020), which premiered at Sundance and won the Jury Award for Visionary Filmmaking. It has gone on to win a further 27 awards globally. Mosese is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talents, Focus Features Africa First, Realness African Screenwriter’s Residency and Cinefondation’s L’Atelier.

Cait Pansegrouw
Cait Pansegrouw
Producer

Cait Pansegrouw is a South African producer and casting director that has worked internationally for the past 7 years. Cait’s work has travelled to Sundance, Berlinale, Venice, Durban and FESPACO, to name a few. Inxeba (The Wound), which she produced and cast directed screened at more than 60 festivals worldwide, winning 28 awards. In 2017 it was selected as South Africa’s official entry for the Academy Awards, making it to the December shortlist of 9 films. Most recently, her feature film This Is Not A Burial, It's A Resurrection was awarded the Jury Prize for Visionary Filmmaking at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered. The film has gone on to win a further 27 awards. In 2020, it was announced as Lesotho’s first ever entry to both the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Cait serves as co-founder of the Realness Institute, which strives to foster a new wave of African cinema. Cait is a Durban Talents, Berlinale Talents, La Fabrique Cinema de L’Institut Francais, EAVE Producer’s Workshop and Biennale College-Cinema alumna.

Total budget

€1 000 000

Financing secured

€10 000

Shooting period and locations

January 2024, Lesotho

Expected delivery

November 2024

Looking for

With no financing instruments available in Lesotho, we are looking for passionate partners who can assist us with raising finance that can travel.

Pitch

Other Projects in development