Nowhere in AfricaBy The Team (Dec 28th, 2011)
Perhaps it is the ‘same old same old’ formulaic movies that are coming out of the cinematic assembly line in Hollywood these days. Or the never ending sequels / prequels – do we REALLY need a Rocky 27?
One foreign film that I happened upon yesterday makes for quite a change from the standard movie fare.
Set in Kenya between 1938 – 1947, Nowhere in Africa relates the story of a Jewish family who escape Germany to a farm in central Kenya. Set against the background of World War 2 the story is primarily about the adjustments to the new life by a Breslau lawyer, his somewhat aristocratic wife and their 5 year old daughter.
A couple of words of warning before you start watching. The movie is in German primarily so if you are not a fan of subtitles you might look for an English dubbed version. Secondly, at least in my mind, what is an excellent period piece falls into the ‘Hollywood trap’ during the latter stage with about 5 minutes of gratuitous nudity and sexual content. This part was quite disappointing actually, given the high standard of the rest of the film. Granted there is brief nudity in earlier parts of the movie courtesy of a couple of Kenyan women walking along a road, but if National Geographic can be quoted as reference that was pretty standard for the time and place.
All in all this is an excellent movie, especially if you are interested in history or Kenya. IMDB rates the film at 7.7 out of 10, so obviously a lot of people agree. The film is rated R for nudity and sexual content (mostly in the last part of the movie) and runs 141 minutes (which literally flies past!). Nowhere in Africa was the 2002 Academy Award Winner in the Foreign Language Category.