LIFE, ABOVE ALL
CWC D: Oliver Schmitz w/ Khmotso Manyaka, Lerato Mvelase. South Africa/Germany. 106 min. Sep 12, 3 pm Varsity 8; Sep 14, 6:15 pm AMC 5 Rating: NNNNN This realistic look at a young girl’s struggle against HIV discrimination is driven by 13-year-old Manyaka’s remarkable acting debut. Her courage in the face of her mother’s illness and her determination to overcome obstacles and the prejudices of her neighbours propel the narrative. That we believe in her completely is a tribute to her talent and the director’s skill.
Schmitz’s empathy for his characters and for the South African townsfolk is clear and raises the narrative above of the realm of soap opera. Toronto writer Allan Stratton’s bestseller, Chanda’s Secrets, makes it to the big screen with its soul intact.