Life, Above All

"Raw, heartfelt and deeply moving." - The Telegraph

Director: Oliver Schmitz

Writer: Oliver Schmitz, Dennis Foon

Stars: Khomotso Manyaka, Lerato Mvelase, Harriet Lenabe, Keaobaka Makanyane

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Product Description

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.

Winner – Prix Francois Chalais – Festival de Cannes

Shortlisted – 83rd Academy Awards – Foreign Language Section

Winner – Special Jury Award – Dubai International Film Festival

Official Selection – Un Certain Regard – Festival de Cannes


  • "Raw, heartfelt and deeply moving."
    - The Telegraph


  • - The List


  • - Songlines


  • - Mail on Sunday


  • - The Express


  • - Time Out


  • - The Independent


  • - Empire
  • "Astonishing performances from first time actresses Khomotso Manyaka and Keaobaka Makanyane."
    - Dazed & Confused
Cast: Khomotso Manyaka, Lerato Mvelase, Harriet Lenabe, Keaobaka Makanyane
Director: Oliver Schmitz
Writers: Oliver Schmitz, Dennis Foon
Country: South Africa
Language: Sepedi
Subtitles: English
Format: PAL
Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
Certificate: 12
Running Time: 108 mins
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date: 23-01-2012
VoD Release Date: 23-01-2012
Cinema Release Date: 27-05-2011
DVD Extras: The Making Of, Cast & Crew Interviews