Life, above all

Life, above all

Blu-ray Disc - 2011 | Northern Sotho; Pedi; Sepedi | Blu-ray version widescreen version
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Twelve-year-old Chanda learns of a rumor that has spread through her village near Johannesburg and forced her mother to flee. Sensing that the gossip stems from prejudice and superstition, Chanda leaves home and school to find her mother and discover the truth.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2011
Edition: Blu-ray version widescreen version
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (ca. 106 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

After the death of her newborn sister, 12-year-old Chandra learns of a rumor spreading through the village. This causes her mother to flee in secret. Brave beyond her years and determined to beat the gossip, Chandra searches for her mother and the truth. I recommend this movie every chance I get.... Read More »

List - Girl Power
SkokieStaff_Sharon Oct 09, 2017

Shortly after the death of her newborn sister, 12-year-old Chandra learns that a rumor is spreading through the village. This causes her mother to flee in secret. Brave beyond her years and determined to beat the gossip, Chandra embarks on a journey to find her mother and the truth. I like to rec... Read More »

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Jun 27, 2015

Presented in the Sotho language with a largely amateur cast, director Oliver Schmitz’s hard-hitting drama, based on Allan Stratton’s novel, is definitely one of those crowd-pleasing “message movies” which always seem to wow them at film festivals. Certainly the dusty landscapes and stirring native hymns effectively underscore the onscreen tragedies whether it be a grieving mother cradling her dead infant or a solitary tear running down the face of a child who has already cried too much. But aside from a true-to-life script refreshingly devoid of any bombast, Schmitz’s film finds its true strength in the acting abilities of his homegrown cast especially newcomer Khomotso Manyaka as Chanda. Her expressive features and forceful voice belying her lack of formal training as she portrays a stoic little girl quietly accepting the role of an adult with all its attending lies, hypocrisies, and heartbreak. It all proceeds pretty much as one would expect, which is not necessarily a bad thing, until a particularly moving finale tinged with grace and compassion gives us pause to reconsider the director’s motivation. Are those steady eyes staring at us from the movie screen filled with accusation? Forgiveness? Or a dawning wisdom which transcends both?

May 19, 2015

This is a beautiful tale of a courageous and loving South African young girl who tries to do the right thing facing friends and relatives suffering from alcoholism, AIDS, prostitution, and prejudice and superstition.

Jul 01, 2014

Thank You Chicago Public Libraries for getting the Blu-Ray version of this good drama about the AIDS epidemic in Africa period.The majority of us need to get like Chanda worldwide before it's irreversibly too late to do so in real life period,BUT YOU DON'T HEAR ME THOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 01, 2012

pretty simple lesson movie about one of Africa's biggest problems.

Apr 09, 2012

"Life, above all" is a gem of a movie. It is one of those films that is overlooked by the general public, with a limited release. But it deserves a wide audience. The story is sad, almost heart-breaking, not an easy movie to watch since it deals with AIDS, superstition, fear, sexual violence and isolation. But it shows the strengths of friendship, the power of forgiveness and moral courage.
The performances of the actors that portray Chanda and Esther are simply amazing.


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