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Life, Above All (2010)
"Le secret de Chanda" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  12 May 2011 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,055 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 9 user | 74 critic | 26 from

A touching mother-daughter relationship that reflects the modern South Africa.



(screenplay), , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Khomotso Manyaka ...
Keaobaka Makanyane ...
Harriet Lenabe ...
Mrs. Tafa (as Harriet Manamela)
Lerato Mvelase ...
Tinah Mnumzana ...
Aunt Lizbet
Aubrey Poolo ...
Mapaseka Mathebe ...
Thato Kgaladi ...
Kgomotso Ditshweni ...
Rami Chuene ...
Aunty Ruth
Jerry Marobyane ...
Mr. Pheto
Tshepo Emmanuel Nonyane ...
Mr. Lesole
Johanna Refilwe Sihlangu ...
Mrs. Lesole
Vusi Muzi Given Nyathi ...
Mr. Nylo
Patrick Shai ...
Dr. Charles Chilume


In the dusty small town of Elandsdoorn, a South African township not far from Johannesburg, life is simple and serene. A prevailing sense of deep pride tightly bonds together the entire community - but beware to those who step out of line ... 12-year-old Chanda is a hardworking promising young student with a bright future, but her life changes dramatically when her baby sister unexpectedly dies. Heartbroken, Chanda's mother, Lillian, in turn becomes severely ill. Her stepfather drowns himself in alcohol, leaving the young girl to take care of her two smaller siblings. Meanwhile, the formerly friendly neighbors become increasingly distant and gossip spreads. "Auntie" Tafa does what she can to help by getting Lillian to leave town, but not even "Auntie" is immune to the cloud of fear filtering across Elandsdoorn. Suspecting that the community's irrational ostracism has to do with her mother's illness and the death of her baby sister, Chanda demands answers but is met with stubborn ... Written by Bavaria International

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material and some sexual content | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

12 May 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida, Acima de Tudo  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$13,788 (USA) (15 July 2011)


$132,960 (USA) (11 November 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

11 January 2015 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is very tender-hearted film and well acted. It grows on you so bare with it, because the characters develop through-out. It took sometime before I felt being pulled into this story, but I am very happy I stayed with it. The film has a very strong feeling of authenticity. It's not trying to swindle you with false emotions; it never sinks into false melodrama.

The theme is of struggle – and the resiliency of women – more particularly a young girl growing up. The struggles are with poverty, AIDS, abandonment, and ignorance. The individuals face their issues with a stoical, but telling emotion. The performances are strong and intense. The ending brings us a soulful resolution.

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