Fascinating and detailed look at Lesotho in South Africa, shortly after the country's independence.
Lesotho (formerly Basutoland), South Africa.
C/U of an African man in bowler hat and suit reading a newspaper, the Lesotho Times; C/U of a statue of the first Lesotho King, Mshoeshoe. We see a frontier of Lesotho as a lorry drives through; C/U of the Lesotho flag flying. Several shots of the mountainous countryside as a Land Rover drives along.
Various shots in a village; goats are herded from a pen; two Basuto men put cattle dung plaster on the outside walls of their mud huts; a family sit around the fire outside their hut; cattle are herded over rocky countryside. Pathe cameraman Martin Rolfe (?), walks to an eroded rock in the countryside and crumbles a chunk in his hand.
Several farming shots; a team of oxen pull a plough; a man on a tractor pulled by cattle. At an Agricultural Training School the men are instructed on tractor mechanics and thatching. Women are seen spinning outside a mud hut and weaving with coloured mohair yarns. A man pours some oil into the engine of a small plane at Lesotho Airport. A squad of police recruits drill before a sergeant. Students are seen outside the University that Lesotho shares with Botswana and Swaziland; L/S of the University's modern church.
Various shots of a road and buildings being built. In Maseru, the capital, we see people milling about the streets, several wear blankets to keep the heat off; a man has a haircut. Another man works on his car, a VW Beetle, outside his house; children play with a ball. We see a football match; commentator says there is no colour bar here; black and white men sit together. In Maseru's only bar, Africans and white people drink and talk together.
In another village a woman feeds some chickens and turkeys; a man has his baggage weighed and boards a plane to go and work in South Africa's gold mines. Aerial shots from a plane of the Orange River and the Maluti mountains. More village scenes as we see mothers who have brought their babies for vaccinations and a check-up on the mountainside. A white doctor attends to a baby; C/U of the contents of his medical case; he gets into a aeroplane marked 'Flying Doctor Service'.
The Lesotho High Commissioner and his wife say goodbye to several British surgeons at London Airport; the surgeons are going to Lesotho to demonstrate surgery techniques. Brief in-flight shots show the men checking their instrument cases and looking at a brochure about Lesotho; L/S of the Lufthansa aeroplane landing at Johannesburg. They drive to Lesotho; a sign above the frontier reads 'Kena Ka Khotso' - 'Enter In Peace'. At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital the surgeons are greeted by Patrick Mota, the Minister of Health.
One of the surgeons holds a new-born baby for the mother to see in an operating theatre; another gives a lecture on eyes before a mixed race group; a plastic surgeon from Guy's Hospital discusses an x-ray with an African doctor, who seems to be communicating by sign language. In the children's ward, a row of babies with labels on their foreheads sit on their mother's knees. A doctor examines an extremely thin baby.
The Queen of Lesotho sits with her young son in a garden while he is checked over by a specialist from Britain; the King looks on, then goes off on his horse for a ride in the mountains.
Note: on file is a letter about the commentary for this film from Pathe to the High Commissioner of Lesotho.