In this deeply affecting portrait of ordinary courage in present-day South Africa, a single mother, Shirley Adams, struggles to care for her paraplegic teenage son, Donovan, in a depressed district on the outskirts of Cape Town. Wearied but resolute, she desperately clings to him as he withdraws from the world following a suicide attempt. She is hopeful when his spirits are momentarily lifted by the appearance of Tamsin, a pretty but overeager social worker. But when the relationship between Donovan and Tamsin sours, his fragile emotional health declines and Shirley's faith and perseverance are put to the ultimate test. First-time director Oliver Hermanus's observant camera holds close to its subjects, capturing the claustrophobia, intimacy and hushed anguish surrounding the tender daily routines of a mother and her child.