Film review

Nowhere In Africa

OPENS APRIL 4, CERT 15, 135 MINS

Directed by Caroline Link and based on Stefanie Zweig's autobiographical novel, Nowhere In Africa tells the story of a young, well-to-do German Jewish family forced to flee the Nazi regime in 1938 and resettle in rural Kenya. The story is told through the eyes of the vivacious Regina, who's just five years old when they arrive in Africa. Initially, her mother Jettel is appalled at the shift in lifestyle she's forced to undergo, from bourgeois Hausfrau to inexperienced farm hand. Husband Walter, meanwhile, is agonisingly aware of his deficiencies as a farm manager. Only Regina quickly adapts to local ways. For her parents, it's a slower, though ultimately surer process.

Set against the magnificent backdrop of the parched, dusty Kenyan veldt, the epic, emotional sweep of Nowhere In Africa is so overwhelming that you waive its shortcomings—the simplistic portrayal of the local tribes people, the unresolved nature of Jettel and Walter's marriage, the occasionally bland and obtrusive soundtrack. It's a film that has you on the edge of tears throughout.

Rating: 4 / 10


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