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Out of Africa
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Synopsis for
Out of Africa (1985) More at IMDbPro »

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[Out Of Africa]

A well-heeled Danish lady goes to an English colony in Africa and buys 1000 acres. Her beau dies and to avoid loneliness she proposes marriage to his gentleman but rascally brother whom she got along well with as a friend. He agrees, in no small part because she has money. They agree to start a cattle farm and she goes back to Denmark to get funding from her family, but when she returns she is distraught to find her husband has decided on his own they would grow coffee instead, despite the fact it has never been grown at that altitude.

The First World War breaks out and most of the men go south to protect some front we don't see much of, but the lady leads a long and dangerous supply run to them herself, learning much about survival, resourcefulness and leadership along the way, and gaining the grudging respect of the men, who didn't think a woman would be up to it.

After the fighting, her husband continues to live more independently than she would like, and eventually he transmits syphilis to her, although he suffers no noticeable effects of it. He is apologetic that he gave it to her, but hes not apologetic for being unfaithful or fiercely independent. She returns to Denmark for treatment, is cured after 3 years and returns to the farm, never to have conjugal relations with him again. He moves out of her house after soliciting a sum of money from her one last time.

The coffee crops start coming in but turning a profit proves difficult. She enlists the services of a local tribe to work her farm and eventually much of the tribe works for her, and they wind up living on her uncultivated acres. She builds a school and hires a teacher to educate the black children, somewhat to the disapproval of many of the English settlers who would rather see the natives remain uneducated and easily manipulated.

She is taken by a freelance hunter but her affections to him are not returned and he dies. His partner (Robert Redford) gradually becomes enamored with her and she reciprocates. He is honest and loyal but very independent as he lives a live of adventure in the wilderness, as he regretfully notes the inroads of civilization. She wants him to be more domesticated but he travels a lot and comes and goes as he pleases.

The farm is just barely getting by as she mortgages it further with a local backer. She has a bumper crop but her barn catches fire, causing her to go bankrupt. She had no insurance as it was considered pessimistic in those freewheeling pioneer times.

Her lover dies in a crash in his private plane and she buries him on her land. Her farm and lover gone, her life in Africa is over and she leaves, never to return. She has loved and lost, but it was better than never having loved at all. We are told at the end that she went on to write some books under a pseudonym about her adventures.
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