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Juan Diego Botto,
A girl, Carola, whose vacation in Kenya takes an interesting turn when she becomes infatuated with a Masai. Carola decides to leave her boyfriend to stay with her lover. There, she has to adapt to the Masai's way of life and get used to their food which includes milk mixed with blood. She also has to face her husband's attitude towards women and what he expects from a wife. Nonetheless, Carola is welcomed warmly into the tribe she has chosen to join. Written by
This is a really well filmed movie. The acting ranges from average to very authentic. I wonder how they managed to film some of the settings and how much the Massai way of life was disturbed by the film crew's visits. In any case, on a technical level, it is well produced. The message is the problem of this film. Ostensibly, the film is a romance failed between western, civilized, white Swiss woman and eastern, uncivilized, black African man. They start off passionate, but soon come the inevitable cultural clashes. In every circumstance, the white woman reacts as a westerner would (and not surprising - how else should one be expected to act?). What IS surprising is that we see the Massai husband attempt in every circumstance to accept or even adopt the ways of his wife. He fails almost every time, but, man, did she find an understanding man to marry. He even goes so far as to cut off his precious warrior hair (a symbol of his manhood) so that she will be more pleased with him. The fact that he loses patience, lashes out, or accuses her of infidelity should come as natural, as his ignorant wife steps over his cultural taboos repeatedly. But he manages to stifle letting his anger out fully because he loves her. Even his tribe accepts this woman, who arrogantly assumes her ways upon them. Now I would have had no problem with these developments had the movie been completely neutral or sided with the Massai more (clearly the Massai were far more patient with her than she with them). But this film seems to side with the white woman and subtly justify her decision to leave country and take their daughter with her, leaving her husband disgraced and now childless. We are asked to sympathize with her, and while we should, we are not asked to sympathize with the Massai. What a wasted opportunity. The film gets 4 points for technical prowess, but none more because of the story!
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