Your location: Ashburn, VA

Life, Above All (Not Rated)

Northern Sotho with English subtitles

Just after the death of her newly-born sister, 12-year-old Chanda learns of a rumor that has spread like wildfire through her small, dust-ridden village near Johannesburg. The rumor destroys her family and forces her mother (Lerato Mvelase) 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 coming-of-age story 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), this moving drama is based on the international award-winning novel Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton. Winner of the François Chalais Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. South Africa's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film consideration at the 2011 Academy Awards.