Since the earliest days in her childhood Lara has had a difficult but important task. Both her parents are deaf-mute and Lara has to translate from sign-language to the spoken word and vice... See full summary »
A Jewish family in Germany emigrate short before the Second World War. They move to Kenya to start running a farm, but not all members of the family come to an arrangement with their new life. Shortly after their departure, things are changing in Germany very quickly, and a turning back seems impossible. So everyone has to arrange himself with the new life in a new continent. Written by
I did find Nowhere In Africa more absorbing upon a second viewing. It's sneaky. When I watched it a second time, I felt more at ease with the characters, and because of that I found myself able to absorb myself in their problems (and in the way they see them) more completely and to imagine their lives much more fully. Yet this film, beautiful as it is, is more a narrative string, a series of scenes, than a drama. It's not that there is a shortage of drama in the idea - or ideas, for there are many - it is just that the drama is not concentrated on any of the various story lines that keep tantalizing us. They tantalize but are never realized, at least not to the full extent they could have been. The director should have taken one or two of the themes she has here and delved into them much more thoroughly. What we have are a number of interesting sketches but never a full canvas. That does not mean that the movie is without its moments (the brilliant young German daughter speaking with the British school headmaster was one such moment, wonderful), but as a viewer I kept wanting more out of each relationship, both between the humans, and between the humans and the place itself. Too much of the film is a kind of mystery without any solution. The shorthand the director uses to tell us her story feels more like an outline for a movie than a real movie. It's a beautiful trailer that goes on for 140 minutes: time aplenty to have told us a really great story. Nonetheless, I do recommend this film. It is visually quite stunning, and the performances are universally good. A solid 3 stars.
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