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Nowhere in Africa
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Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times hails this film as being "laced with poignancy and conflict,urgency and compassion." "& I loved this film!" raves Roger Ebert "& this is the kind of movie thatreal people really, really like!" Nowhere In Africa - the critically acclaimed, Academy Award(r) winner - is a story about love, about family, about leaving one home to create another. Spanning two continents, it's the true tale of a Jewish attorney and his family who flee the Nazi regime in 1938 fora remote farm in Kenya. As the war rages on the other side of the world, his relationships with hiswife and daughter become increasingly complicated: they struggle between resisting and embracing their new life, while reaching out to each other.
Both epic and heartbreakingly intimate, Nowhere in Africa begins with a Jewish woman named Jettel Redlich fleeing Nazi Germany with her daughter Regina, to join her husband, Walter, on a farm in Kenya. At first, Jettel refuses to adjust to her new circumstances (she brought with her a set of china dishes and an evening gown), while Regina adapts readily to this new world, forming a strong bond with her father's cook, an African named Owuor. But this is only the beginning of a series of uprootings, and as the surface of their lives is torn away, Walter and Jettel find they have little in common, and must--under tumultuous circumstances--build their marriage anew. With incredible skill and passion, Nowhere in Africa manages to bring you fully into every change in this family's life; it richly deserves the Academy Award® it received in 2002. A powerful, deeply moving film. --Bret Fetzer
- Making of 'Nowhere in Africa'" featurette
- "The Premiere" featurette
- Four music videos
- Still gallery with producer commentary
- Deleted scenes (with optional commentary)
- Cast & crew interviews
- Rehearsal footage
- Storyboard comparison
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The acting is first rate. The filming of the landscape gives us a less romanticised version than that of Out of Africa, but it's still recognizably Africa.
The husband/father is compasionate and caring, not just to his family but to the Africans and others who help him. The wife/mother begins as a very spoiled, elitist who is forced to re-evaluate herself, her relationship with her husband, the people and country of Africa. The daughter grows in both body and spirit, adjusting almost too well to the new situation. Of the 3, she is the most grounded in reality and is wise beyond her years.
The focus of the film is not the war itself but it's impact on this family. There are moments of joy, more of tears and many of deepness but this is not a depressing film. Just the opposite. I left with more respect for what these people did and how they adjusted to the changes in their lives, as well as a greater appreciation for the fact that I have never had to face some of the issues that the characters do.
This is not a war movie, nor a movie about Judaism. It is a glimpse into the lives of people forced to make drastic changes in their lives and how they learn about each other and themselves.
This is definitely "Best Picture" material!
I've seen the movie three times with three different people (one of them my teenage daughter - teenagers, as you know, don't have a lot of patience), and I find the running length just right, and additionally, none of the people I saw the movie with were complaining that it was too long.
Second, I unabashedly loved this film. And surprisingly, the aforementioned teenager really liked this film as well. I was certain she would complain that it was B O R I N G when it was over, but she thought it was great, so perhaps teenage viewers in your household might feel the same way.
I won't belabor the plot or the characters as it's been done so well in the previous reviews posted here, but I want to note that one of the most interesting things in the movie is the mother/wife's realization that she has become a much finer person as a result of the years spent with people she considered sub-human when she arrived, and secondly, as a result of the things she was forced to learn and do to survive (and eventually prosper) in Africa.
She doesn't wish to return to Germany - she is a better person in Africa.
Even though she does reluctantly return to Germany with her husband, she knows that she will never be as complete an individual as she was in adopted land. It's a nice piece of character development that acts as a interesting sidebar to her daughter's maturation in Africa.