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Tags >> Oliver Schmitz
Mar 15
2011

Review: Life,Above All

Posted by Paralyzer in review , Oliver Schmitz , life , Lerato Mvelase , Above All

Paralyzer

Oliver Schmitz, the  German director has a panache for telling socially relevant stories about  South Africa. In the hey days of the apartheid years he made the classic and iconic  Mapantsula which through its lead character Panic, a petty criminal, the international world was able to see how bad the system is through Panic’s story of political consciousness been awaken by events happening around him. In the 90’s he made a post apartheid film Hi-Jack stories;it did not fare that well but touched on lure of gangsterism, hijacking and criminal behavior in the new South Africa. It’s very poignant in the post Madiba- post Mbeki years and in the year of the Zuma presidency that Schmitz tackles the thorny issue of the shame that is associated with HIV/AIDS and the burden of child headed families due to this epidemic. Although immediately one would like to associate Life,above all with Yesterday but Life above all is a cut above Yesterday .It feels more sincere, touching and less whimsical than Yesterday, although the films are both set in the rural areas, both use vernacular and deal with stigmatization. I think the choice to tell the story from the childs perspective  in Life, Above All is refreshing and the film actually feels more contemporary than Yesterday.

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