Life, Above All

“Oliver Schmitz’s 'Life, Above All' hit me with an emotional punch that I found difficult to resist. ... Without doubt teenage actress Khomotso Manyaka gives one of the strongest performances I’ve seen so far.” Matt Bochenski, Little White Lies.

Chanda, 12 years old, learns of a rumor that spreads like wildfire through her small, dust-ridden village near Johannesburg. It destroys her family and forces her mother to flee. Sensing that the gossip stems from prejudice and superstition, Chanda leaves home and school in search of her mother and the truth. 'Life, Above All' is an emotional and universal drama about a young girl (stunningly performed by first-time-actress Khomotso Manyaka) who fights the fear and shame that have poisoned her community. The film captures the enduring strength of loyalty and a courage powered by the heart.

Directed by South African filmmaker Oliver Schmitz ("Mapantsula", "Paris, je t´aime"), it is based on the international award winning and best-selling novel “Chanda’s Secrets” by Allan Stratton.“ 'Life, Above All' has the high art and big heart of any award-worthy film. At the Palais des Festivals, this was the one that had critics cheering like schoolkids, in a 10-minute standing ovation.” Mary Corliss, Time Magazine“ Oliver Schmitz's 'Life, Above All' has been the best heart-warmer and tearjerker so far… The film is about deep human emotions, evoked with sympathy and love.” Robert Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

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