With Hollywood now seldom more than a factory of comic-book-hero adaptations, fantasy-book rewrites, and paint-by-number romantic comedies, it takes a foreign film to truly reset perspective. Life, Above All is one of those films. The story concerns the young Chanda (Khomotso Manyaka, in a stirring debut), who lives in a shabby township outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. AIDS is rampant, as are the fear of it and ignorance toward it. Chanda’s infant sister has just passed away, and her bereaved mother is incapable of handling the family’s affairs, which quickly become Chanda’s charge (the father is a drunk). Manyaka’s solemn determination keeps you glued to every gloomy and inevitable turn. Life is not a cheerful film, but you will leave the theater a different person. (See Movie Times)