|Index||5 reviews in total|
I read the original book "Dschungelkind" some years ago and was simply
amazed. Despite simple language the perceptible clash of cultures
described with so much feeling was astonishing. This film does not
entirely reach up to the book, but still catches one's heart and
depicts the life of Sabine Kuegler very believably.
Always keeping in mind this is an entirely true story with nothing made up, this biography makes one really think about how life could have been different and what perfect world means for yourself.
Overall I can strongly recommend this film although reading the book before watching this film is probably the better order since this is even more thought-provoking.
Sabine Kuegler's autobiographical "Jungle Child" is one of the best
books I've read in the last 10 years. In it, she recounts her life as
the daughter of a couple of German missionaries, living as a child with
his family (that includes her parents, a brother and a sister) deep in
the jungle of Indonesia's Papua (the western part of the island of New
Guinea) working with the Fayu, an isolated tribe, still living in the
stone age and in a stage of constant warfare, that has just decided to
come forward to meet the rest of the world. Her story is enthralling.
And an even big of a culture clash, was when Sabine returned to Europe
at 17 years of age.
Now we have a film version of the book. The movie was filmed in Malaysia, and I found it interesting though less compelling than the book. The movie, almost two and a half hours long, is relatively faithful but a bit sanitized (for instance, the fact that they were missionaries goes almost unmentioned). Kuegler is played by Stella Kunkat as a child and by Sina Tkotsch as a teenager. Of the actors in the movie, the best known is Thomas Kretschmann, who has appeared in many German movies and plays here Klaus Kuegler, Sabine's father. The color photography is a plus.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Dschungelkind" or "Jungle Child" is a German movie from five years ago
that is exactly about what the title says. We follow the life of a
German girl (and her White family) and how she is coming of age deep in
the jungle because her father has a job down there. The director is
Roland Suso Richter, who is mostly known for his television work here
in Germany, but I think this one here was a theatrical movie and it
proves that he can deliver on the big screen too. I have little doubt
that this is by far the best work I have seen from him. He was also one
of the many people who worked on the script here and, luckily, this is
no case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. The reason for this may
very well be that this film is based on an autobiographical novel by
Sabine Kuegler and this is the story about her life. I have not read
the book, but maybe the base material was already that great or they
just did super-fine on the adaptation.
The second reason why this movie works so well is child actress Stella Kunkat. She is in most of the scenes for almost the entire movie, except the last 20 minutes perhaps and I believe she did a tremendous job. If she decides to pursue a career in acting, I can see a bright career ahead for her. She makes the character work so well and it's very interesting to watch her, but also her family how they deal with all kinds of difficult scenarios. The Germans live right next to two tribes who keep fighting each other and collateral damage may seem unavoidable. Then there is the wild animals of course too. And then there are also problem that may occur to everybody, no matter if they live in the thickest jungle or the biggest metropolis.
The film offered a couple really nice moments in terms of understanding each other and overcoming boundaries that society laid upon us. I think one of the major things to understand here is that home is the jungle for them and only the jungle. The scene when they are back in Germany for a while shows perfectly that they do not feel home, that it is just a temporary journey until they return where they belong. They really succeeded in evoking this perspective. Well done. Also thanks to the material it is based on, they are not scared of bringing death and tragedy in here and emotion that never feels forced but genuine all the time. This was already the second time I watched this movie and I liked it pretty much the same like the first time. It is quite impressive to make a film that so easily runs past the 120-minute mark and still never ever drags only a little bit. I would have watched this for another hour. I really authentic and sincere work. I highly recommend it.
I can't understand why the real Sabine went along with this,guess she
needed the money. The book is quite excellent, and describes very well
the life of Sabine,her siblings and their missionary family.As they
live deep in the jungle,where her father is trying to learn the
language and way of the fayu tribe.
For some reason I can't fathom, they have basically ditched most of the important stuff from the book,and focused a lot on the tribes war.Which was only a small part In the book.And don't be fooled,it's not a documentary,it's loosely based on real events They have basically taken away the whole part where all the kids learn to hunt and speak fauy.Suddenly they just speak fluent fauy They have also taken away a lot of the other kids stuff from the book.Which was strange,cause the book is written from a child's point of view. The acting is not bad,but they speed thing along in away that is unforgivable,if you read the book
The Fayu cannot die. Only a curse or an arrow ends a life.
The eight years old girl Sabine arrives at the Indonesian island of West-Papua, together with her parents and 2 siblings. A linguistic research mission brought her family to the jungle of the Fayu. It is the beginning of a great adventure and soon Sabine finds her new home. Far off the western civilization, she grows up as a child of the jungle, but the untouched wilderness holds dangers of its own. The close friendship between Sabine and Auri, a boy of an enemy tribe, almost puts her and her family between the two waring factions. The friendship prevails and turns into an intense bond over the years, until the 16 year old Sabine returns to Germany, a home as alien to her as the rainforest of the Fayu to us.
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