Oliver Schmitz – Life, Above All (2010)


Strong narrative drive and a lived-in sense of community distinguish “Life, Above All,” helmer Oliver Schmitz’s traditional but emotionally rich adaptation of Allan Stratton’s novel “Chanda’s Secrets.” A forceful account of a courageous 12-year-old fighting small-minded prejudice in her South African village, well-made pic maintains a tight enough focus on its heroine to avoid becoming a topical tract on the issues it grapples with, namely the AIDS epidemic, infant mortality and child prostitution. Positive critical response should give this Un Certain Regard hit a strong shot at offshore play. Continue reading