Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Nowhere in Africa |
German with English Subtitles
Actors: Juliane Köhler, Merab Ninidze, Matthias Habich, Sidede Onyulo, Lea Kurka
Director: Caroline Link
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
A Jewish family flees Germany in the 1930's to work a farm in Kenya, where they must make some major adjustments. Genre: Foreign Film - German Rating: R Release Date: 30-SEP-2003 Media Type: DVD
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Member Movie Reviews
Gabriele C. from LAKE WALES, FL
Reviewed on 9/5/2013...
we watched this movie and it is a good movie --- well acted , scenery and so on . what was not quite kosher , are nudity scenes and the sex scenes [ yes , there are more than one ]. this said , they are "tastefully " done , as in my book , germans are good with that . yes , they are there , but not emphasized and dwelled upon . yet , they are THERE . i would not show this movie to my children , yes they can see more skin at the beach or in some other movies , but ... ! anyhow , what i also didnt like was the insinuation of more " sexual encounters " . as much as i would like to give this movie a higher rating , i can not . i am german and can understand this movie probably more clearly than most [ i dint need the subtitles ] ... yet i can not keep it . sad , that a movie of this calibre couldnt be kept cleaner .
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Connie H. (Conniehi) from CHICAGO, IL
Reviewed on 8/31/2013...
Great film. Never knew that Jewish people left Germany and headed to Africa to escape Hilter. I wanted to be in the type of camp they set up for the women and children in Africa when the British joined the war. It was a fancy hotel with all the lobster you could eat. But basically their lives were very hard but the background of Africa is starkly beautiful. Great story and filming.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
ACADEMY AWARD WINNER 2002 BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful German film, which deservedly won an Academy Award in 2002 for being the Best Foreign Language Film. Based upon an autobiographical book by Stefanie Zweig, the film is beautifully acted by a stellar cast and deftly directed by Caroline Link. It is a film that will stay in one's consciousness long after the credits have rolled by. It is also a film that touches upon a number of universal themes.
The film focuses on an upper class, privileged family of secular German Jews. The husband, Walter Redlich (Merab Ninidze), seeing the way things are going in Germany in the 1930s with the advent of Hitler, leaves his law practice and emigrates to Africa, where he finds himself managing a ranch for an Englishman in an arid location in rural Kenya, while setting the stage for his family's emigration from Germany. In 1938, he then sends for his beautiful, haughty wife, Jettel (Juliane Kohler), and young daughter, Regina (Lea Gurka as a young child and Karoline Eckertz as an adolescent), to join him.
When they arrive, the wife goes into culture shock and is in total denial as to their new circumstances. Her reaction to their precarious situation is different from that of her husband, as well as from that of her child. Her husband, a realist about the situation in Germany and a survivor at heart, knows that they cannot return while Hitler is in power and is willing to make the best of the hand that they have been dealt. Jettel, however, still fails to understand just how precarious their situation in Germany was.
Once removed from a familiar environment, Walter and Jettel seem to have very little in common. Now that her husband is no longer a practicing lawyer, Jettel acts as if he has been diminished in her eyes. She also initially disdains her new, hardscrabble life and hates all things African, even the natives, treating them like dirt, until her husband insinuates that she is starting to remind him of the Nazis.
Their household is made complete by a very pleasant and affable Kenyan named Owour (Sidele Onyulo), who had saved Walter's life during a bout with malaria and who acts as the family cook. He helps them in enumerable ways, teaching them the language and customs of his people. Regina immediately bonds with Owour and adapts quickly to her new life and customs. She befriends the native children, learns their language, and prefers Kenya over Germany as her country of choice, notwithstanding its hardships and privations. In her nine years in Kenya, Regina, despite attending a British school, becomes as African in her ways as a native.
The conflicts of war soon make themselves manifest in Kenya, which is under English rule. The threads of Walter's and Jettel's marriage start to fray and unravel, as their hopes and dreams come into conflict. They are, however, always unified in terms of their love of Regina, an extraordinarily perceptive and intelligent child. Still, Walter and Jettel must endure and weather some pretty serious marital storms, as the self-absorbed Jettel slowly undergoes a metamorphosis, which throws her strained marriage into a tailspin for a time.
As Jettel learns to adapt to her changing circumstances and accept some of the changes in her life, the marriage begins to stabilize despite its continual strains and cracks. Upon discovering the fate of their respective families, who had refused to emigrate despite Walter's early entreaties, Jettel now realizes what her fate might have been had her husband not had the foresight to seek an alternative solution. It is then that reality finally sets in. Consequently, when the war is over, she initially refuses to have anything to do with a post-war Germany, while her husband hankers to return so as to be a part of its re-building. What ultimately happens, however, will be the true test of their love.
This is a fully character driven film, played against the largely unseen backdrop of the holocaust. Merab Ninidze is brilliant as the beleaguered Walter. Handsome, sensitive, and intelligent, he is an absolute dream in the role, bringing an astuteness and underlying strength to the role that makes him stand out from the crowd. He walks a fine line but manages to avoid being pitied for the way his wife treats him. The beautiful Juliane Kohler is excellent as the selfish Jettel, managing to interject, at the last, a certain vulnerability into what is essentially a nearly unlikable character. Sidele Onyulo is wonderful as the warm and always helpful Owour, infusing the role with an infectious charm. Lea Gurka and Karoline Eckertz are both ingratiating as the younger and older manifestations of Regina, the child through whose eyes most of the events in the film are seen.
Beautifully rendered, from its casting, to the acting, to its sensitive direction, and last, but certainly not least, its exquisite cinematography, it is a must see, engrossing film that will keep the viewer riveted to the screen. Bravo!"
Mature, effective, complex drama
Matthew Horner | USA | 10/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Nowhere in Africa" is a complex but satisfying drama about a Jewish German family that escaped the Nazi Holocaust by moving to Kenya. It is a true story. This beautifully told and photographed movie suffers only slightly by running a bit too long. The small family is comprised of the father, Walter Redlich [Merab Ninidze], the mother, Jettel [Juliane Kohler], and a young daughter, Regina [Lea Kurka]. They are well established, middle-class Jews who are content to call Germany home. They are not particularly orthodox in their religious belief and consider themselves `normal' German citizens. After the Nazis come to power and begin their repressive programs, Walter, a man more farsighted than most, begins to see the real dangers this regime poses. In 1938 he takes his wife and daughter to live in Kenya where he works on a vast farm that is almost literally in the middle of nowhere. Regina quickly adapts to her new home, but Jettel, unable to accept the horrible reality of what is happening back home, is miserable. Several years later, the war ends, and the Nazis are no more. Then, however, it is Jettel who has come to love Africa and Walter who yearns to return home. Essentially, this is a love story about two very different people who learn that acceptance and compromise are necessary parts of any strong relationship.There is a dynamic subtext to this movie: A family which is considered alien by most of the population in its native Germany is thrown into an environment where the population is even more alien to them. By learning to accept - and eventually to love - the Kenyans and their exotic ways, the family becomes stronger and more universal. "Nowhere is Africa" is a mature film for a mature audience. The movie is in German with English subtitles."
Benjamin | ATLANTA, Gabon | 06/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"NOWHERE IN AFRICA shed light, for me, on a chapter of the Holocaust of which I was unaware. At the beginning of the Nazis' oppression of the Jews, some German Jewish families migrated to Kenya, abandoning their lives, jobs and livelihoods to live off the land - despite their lack of knowledge about the land or any farming skills.Narrated by a young girl, the film stars the beautiful, talented Juliane Kohler as the girl's mother, Jettel. Her character's transformation from spoiled young society wife in Germany into a resourceful, passionate and mature woman willing to protect her husband and family through any means is amazing. With Jettel's story firmly at the heart of the film, the beauty of the cinematography and other stories of this family's struggle prove compelling.I highly recommend this."