Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Weisse Massai|
Actors: Katja Flint, Nina Hoss, Janek Rieke, Nino Prester, Jacky Ido
Director: Hermine Huntgeburth
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Portrait of the Idiot as a Young Woman
P. Oski | Canada | 09/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Four stars is a bit much for this, but it's not bad. I was never bored, but if this had not been based on a real story, I would have knocked stars off for presenting an implausibly stupid heroine and generally shallow characters.
The Swiss woman who gives up her business, boyfriend, family and country because she gets the hots for a young Masai warrior while on vacation is shallow. She can't be portrayed as anything else. The Masai women and a world-weary Italian priest are the only characters who appear to have any sense at all. They're a welcome respite from the generally idiotic cast of characters who inhabit the Kenya and Switzerland of this biographical melodrama.
The acting is good and the locales impressive. There is no plot to speak of other than what I've mentioned, just a collection of episodes. Some are gruelling, others vaguely humorous or touching. Since the two main protagonists are incapable of empathy or learning, the portrayal of their life as a series of isolated events in haphazard sequence is oddly fitting.
There's some steamy sex, a pregnancy gone horrifically wrong and an offscreen ritualistic genital mutilation. We don't learn much about the Masai, but we see the arrogance of Western self-indulgence and the "Noble Savage" version of colonial racism in the objectification of the hapless Masai by the predatory hedonism of his Swiss lover. I suppose we are meant to admire her pluck, but it's over shadowed by her cluelessness.