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Life, Above All (2010)

Le secret de Chanda (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama | 11 March 2011 (South Africa)
2:07 | Trailer
A touching mother-daughter relationship that reflects the modern South Africa.


Oliver Schmitz


Dennis Foon (screenplay), Oliver Schmitz | 1 more credit »
13 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Khomotso Manyaka Khomotso Manyaka ... Chanda
Keaobaka Makanyane Keaobaka Makanyane ... Esther
Harriet Lenabe Harriet Lenabe ... Mrs. Tafa (as Harriet Manamela)
Lerato Mvelase Lerato Mvelase ... Lillian
Tinah Mnumzana Tinah Mnumzana ... Aunt Lizbet
Aubrey Poolo Aubrey Poolo ... Jonah
Mapaseka Mathebe Mapaseka Mathebe ... Iris
Thato Kgaladi Thato Kgaladi ... Soly
Kgomotso Ditshweni Kgomotso Ditshweni ... Dudu
Rami Chuene Rami Chuene ... Aunty Ruth
Jerry Marobyane Jerry Marobyane ... Mr. Pheto
Tshepo Emmanuel Nonyane Tshepo Emmanuel Nonyane ... Mr. Lesole
Johanna Refilwe Sihlangu Johanna Refilwe Sihlangu ... Mrs. Lesole
Vusi Muzi Given Nyathi Vusi Muzi Given Nyathi ... Mr. Nylo
Patrick Shai 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

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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User Reviews

Will recommend.
2 February 2013 | by lil_blizzard_sSee all my reviews

I recommend reading the book ( Chanda's Secret) first to appreciate the full concept behind the movie. Some parts of the book was cut out which is a shame but understandable. I guess, he had to take into account the length of the movie and the type of movie he wanted to do i.e as a narrated film. However the director managed to include all the characters from the book without cutting some out - so kudos to him. I'm sure most of the actors were first-timers. But each held their part and did a good job. I Love how the characters spoke in their own language. The singing scenes were very effective.The music at the end was so powerful and touching - it really tied and summed up the movie perfectly. Brought me to tears. I really recommend reading the book first though before watching the movie because I think they both compliment each other. But I will recommend it. Great movie for mature young readers and over.

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Official Sites:

Official site


South Africa | Germany


Southern Sotho

Release Date:

11 March 2011 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Life, Above All See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,788, 17 July 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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