Life, Above All
Chanda is a 12 year-old South African who knows what a hard life really is. Her baby sister dies, her mother is suffering from ‘the bug’ (AIDS), her step father is a drunk and the villagers blame divine judgment against her mother for bringing all the trouble on herself. Chanda—played by the terrific Khomotso Manyaka—is forced to take on running the family. The family’s only friend, Mrs Tafa, tries to help the situation by moving Chandra’s mother out of the village, but Chandra, who knows she needs her mother, no matter how ill she is, goes in search of her. Oliver Schmitz—who directed ‘the Apartheid-era film Mapantsula’ in 1988— brings us this film about the brutal and dark world of AIDS where the reactions of the community in denial only help to bring on their own destruction.
“Deeply moving without resorting to sentiment...it lightens the load with smart character humour and a sense of hope for the future. A very rewarding watch”