Life, Above All (2011)
Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 71
Fresh: 58 | Rotten: 13
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,045
Just after the death of her newly-born sister, 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
Jul 15, 2011 Limited
Dec 6, 2011
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site
Watch It Now
Thsepo Emmanuel Nonyane
Johanna Refilwe Sihlangu
Vsui Muzi Given Nyathi
Bhekifa Isaac Nyathi
Dudu's Male Friend
Truck Stop Hooker #2
Passing Nosy Woman #1
Passing Nosy Woman #2
Choir Member #1
Choir Member #2
"Life, Above All" earns the tears it inspires. The film is about deep human emotions, evoked with sympathy and love.
Perseverance is the theme of "Life, Above All," a drama that is deeply affecting, if also overwhelmingly bleak.
There is less in-your-face grit in Cape Town-born director Oliver Schmitz's vision for this film than there is a careful pacing of somber revelations.
This is a heartening story of resilience told without false uplift. It is hopeful without being mawkish, realistic but not oppressive.
"Life, Above All," a deeply moving South African drama about AIDS and ostracism, manages to be, paradoxically, both austere and uplifting.
A gripping African drama about a child who has to grow up too fast, who has to keep her family together and alive, and has come to terms with the AIDS stigma that her neighbors place on them.
...there's an undeniable fierceness and intelligence in Manyaka's lead performance. She's far from a polished actor, but there's real steel there.
The location settings are more compelling than the filmmaking, but the subject matter and the effective presence of young Khomotso Manyaka perhaps make this worth seeking out for those who are sympathetic to its subject matter.
"Life, Above All" is an incredibly sad movie that never relies on sentimentality, and is as clear-eyed about the story as its forthright young heroine.
An imperfect attempt at addressing the continued reluctance of sub-Saharan societies to address the HIV plague in their midst.
Life, Above All is 100 minutes of grief and courage. The film shows how South Africans failed to accept and deal with the reality of AIDS. It's a provocative and depressing plot.
Manyaka brings grace and empathy to everything Chanda does, eliciting sympathy and understanding in spite of the movie's own awkwardness.
Manyaka's performance is jaw dropping, entirely earning the neat little bow that the movie seems determined to put on top of her mission.
Story about a South African girl struggling against AIDS stigma feels too rational and distant.
In such a bleak story, the redemptive ending seems rushed and unconvincing, but director Oliver Schmitz has sent us a timely dispatch from a forgotten corner of the world that is honest above all.
Audience Reviews for Life, Above All
- Chanda: It's not her... It's you who worked so hard.
- Chanda: I'll always be you friend, you know.
- Chanda: Even if people say bad things about your family.
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