Life, Above All
Everything seems peaceful and fine in a small township in South Africa, but behind closed doors lurks the disease nobody wants to talk about. The brave and charismatic girl Chandra refuses to obey the village’s traditional views on shame and superstition, and decides to go on a journey to reunite her family and make the truth known. LIFE, ABOVE ALL is a heart-warming film about friendship and deceit, solidarity and exclusion – and above all, taking control of your own destiny.
Oliver Schmitz, the child of German immigrants, was born in 1960 in Cape Town, South Africa. He graduated at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts and was soon to be discovered as a politically engaged director. His first feature film, MAPANTSULA, focused on the growing anti-apartheid struggle and was shot in Soweto without the permission of the local authorities. The film was well received by South Africa’s black population and has gained a cult status, in addition to being embraced by the jury in Cannes in 1988. In the late 80’s Schmitz teamed with other documentary filmmakers directed nine documentaries. He moved to Germany, where he worked as television director. In 2005, Schmitz and other directors, including the Coen Brothers and Gus Van Sant, directed the feature film PARIS JE T'AIME. At the moment he is working on a new film, an adaptation of the novel "Russendisco" by Wladimir Kaminer, one of the most successful young writers in Germany