100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The film's ending is improbably upbeat: Magic realism, in a sense. It works as a deliverance. Dennis Foon's screenplay is based on the novel "Chanda's Secrets" by Canadian writer Allan Stratton. It is a parable with Biblical undertones, recalling "Cry, the Beloved Country."
Full Review
75

Orlando Sentinel

By Roger Moore
Whatever the grownups say, Manyaka's Chanda is the one person in this village who understands how simple things really are, that it really does come down to Life, Above All.
Full Review
75

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joe Williams
In such a bleak story, the redemptive ending seems rushed and unconvincing, but director Oliver Schmitz has sent us a timely dispatch from a forgotten corner of the world that is honest above all.
Full Review
75

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
To a Western audience, the movie may at times feel pat, cooked up, wishful beyond realistic measure. But we're not the ones who need to see it.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Amy Biancolli
What matters most in this sad, sobering movie is not what anyone says; it's what goes unsaid for most of the running time.
Full Review
70

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
This is a modest film, and an affecting one.
Full Review
60

Movieline

By Michelle Orange
The scenes between the young actresses are the film's most compelling: Both first-timers, Manamela and Makanyane are possessed of extraordinary faces and plain attitudes.
Full Review
60

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
Director Oliver Schmitz's rhythms take a while to ease into, and admittedly, there is never a bright moment.
Full Review
50

NPR

By Ella Taylor
The script groans beneath a mass of symbolic winking and declamatory exposition that has the unfortunate effect of turning the villagers into credulous simpletons, ready to blow with any wind that carries them.
Full Review
50

The Hollywood Reporter

By Natasha Senjanovic
Its schematic structure oversimplifies the drama, despite an interesting, mostly debut cast. It seems better suited for the small screen.
Full Review
65 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.