Nowhere in Africa

Rated NR

This Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language film is a bit long and German, but it’s also tremendously effective. Jettel Redlich is a difficult, racist woman who must flee Germany in the late ’30s because she is Jewish. Her husband Walter has already set himself up as a farmer in Kenya, where he has taken to the people, but not the land. Conflict ensues when Jettel tries to live a German life in the Kenyan plains, and her attitude towards the locals enrages her husband. Meanwhile, their young daughter comes of age in Africa, in every possible sense of "comes of age," since the film spans a nearly 10-year period. Ultimately, Nowhere in Africa works because of the variety and depth given to the lead characters, but it does indulge in some very old-fashioned movie attitudes towards Africans. While disturbing, this doesn’t completely ruin the film, and could perhaps be excused as a reflection of Jettel’s attitude toward the people she is forced to live with.

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