Menu

Life, Above All—movie review

One of the year’s most striking and memorable performances is given by a 12-year-old girl who never set foot in front of a camera before she was chosen to play the leading role in Life, Above All. This moving adaptation of Allan Stratton’s award-winning novel Chanda’s Secrets was directed by Oliver Shmitz, who was raised by German parents in South Africa, where the story takes place. Using natural locations instead of sets, and professional actors as well as locals, he provides a tangible portrait of—

—a rural village where ignorance, prejudice, and superstition go hand in hand.

Chanda (so well played by newcomer Knomotso Manyaka) is an adolescent girl who has to shoulder adult responsibilities following the mysterious death of her baby sister. As we get to know her mother, her drunken stepfather, their bossy neighbor, and the other people in her life we come to understand the real subject of the movie: AIDS, and the enormous stigma it carries.

Life, Above All is essentially a character study—of a family, an amazingly strong-willed girl who sees what the grownups around her cannot, and a society that would rather bury its head in the sand than face an admittedly difficult reality. Yet the film is not—to use a popular expression—a downer, because young Chanda provides hope and inspiration.

At a time when so many movies are about nothing at all…and others sacrifice dramatic substance for mere good intentions, Life, Above All manages to tell a compelling story and give us food for thought at the same time. Such a film deserves applause, support, and most of all an audience.

No comments

Leave a Reply

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Ad

PODCAST

 photo MALTIN_ON_NOVIES_AD2_zpsboz6pvfm.png

PAST MALTIN ON MOVIES PODCASTS

APPEARANCES/BOOKING

 photo MALTIN_APPEARANCESON_NOVIES_AD_v2_zpscy41sntv.png

Ad

CALENDAR

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031