Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nowhere in Africa


My last Netflix film was the artistically filmed Nowhere in Africa
(Nirgendwo in Afrika), 2001. This gorgeous epic, skillfully directed
by Caroline Link, is based on the autobiographical novel of the same
name by Stefanie Zweig. The film tells the story of an upper class
German Jewish family who escape the Nazis in 1938 by immigrating
to Kenya and struggling under tumultuous circumstances to start a
farm.

I was in complete awe of the beauty and poignancy of this film. It's
rich with gorgeous Kenyan landscape and culture. The run time is
141 minutes, but it seemed like only an hour. The delicious multi
layering of this movie completely wrapped itself around me. Can you
tell I loved it? It well deserves the Academy Award it received for
Best Foreign Language Film in 2002. This one is on the "wish list"
for my personal little DVD collection. It is definitely a film I will want
to watch again and again. Queue it up! It's powerful.


69 comments:

  1. It is a great film! I saw it a few years ago and loved it--one of those great epic films about Africa, with gorgeous landscapes and a good story to boot.

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  2. I will see this one Willow. I love stories like this. Thank you. There is something about Africa...

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  3. I watched this film a couple of years ago. It is really a beautiful story.

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  4. Love Netflix, don't have cable so it's great for those shows. Just watched 6 hours of "SavingGrace" in one sitting, fabulous! Should be on your list if you haven't seen it yet, the ever-fantastic Holly Hunter, highly recommend it. Especially in big chunks.

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  5. Sounds like my kind of movie. I got rid of NetFlix but I am sure this movie makes rounds on Sundance and or Flix. I will Tivo it.

    Thanks for the tip.

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  6. I've had this film on a DVD for about a year now and never got round to watch it even though I am actually very interested in Africa... now that you've recommended it I'm going to watch it tonight. Thanks. Polly x

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  7. Thank you, thanks, thank you! I had completely forgot about this movie, willow! And I am a fan of Stefan Zweig. Can you believe that my favourite biography ever is Fouché? And I also read Mary Stuart and the one on Magallanes. Thanks for the recommendation because my wife was asking me the other day if I fancied choosing a title from LoveFilms, it 's my turn, you see. I will be commenting on this feature very soon.

    Greetings from London.

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  8. Thrilled to agree with you..I loved this movie ...it is so full of humanity..ready to see it again!

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  9. Lovely film. It's just about the only German-language film my son likes. We gave it to him for Christmas.

    We've got the book - Stephanie Zweig, I think. Maybe he'll stop gaming for long enough to read. it.

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  10. I've seen this one and enjoyed it immensely. I ordered the book but haven't read it yet. It's on the list of must reads.

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  11. I think I may have to see this one. It looks wonderful. :)

    Sarah

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  12. Okay, this one goes on the list--the trailer caused tears.

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  13. This sounds like a great film, I will add it to our queue thanks

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  14. Excellent film, powerful and moving. It is a keeper.

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  15. thanks for the intro to this movie. will definitely check it out. have some friends that were just over in Africa. Would love to go sometime.

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  16. I'm going to look for it at our video store. Thank you for the clip, it looks like a wonderful movie.

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  17. After reading your remarks and then seeing the YouTube, I guess I will have to get this. I hate to see the animal get shot but I can put up with that if that is all the killing there is. Nice post.

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  18. certainly a must see!! thanks for sharing! :)

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  19. Willow how did I miss this? I will definitely see it.

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  20. Oh, thank you for this review. It is a classic to show in German classrooms and I have always wondered about it. Upon your suggestion, I will screen it and show it in coming years, along with the book.

    Vielen Dank,

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  21. Not 10 minutes ago I sat down to update my Netflix list ... . . and felt quite lacking in inspiration:
    Good timing - this sounds great!

    JJjjj

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  22. This is a wonderful movie I keep on my DVD collection. I've been 3 times in Kenya, a country I really love, so you can imagine how I feel everytime I watch this german Oscar winner beauty.

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  23. Sounds like a wonderful film, inspiring with the astounding difficulties the family faces down. Thanks for the mention here.

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  24. It moves me much, that this film gets more and more the exposure it deserves. Such a beautiful film, again showing that Germany did suffer in its own way under Hitler, which is so rarely exposed.
    One note, the female writer is Not the same person as Stefan Zweig, who in fact is a BEAUTIFUL WRITER!

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  25. Thanks Willow ! The trailer is fantastic !

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  26. Thank you for the review . I'll see if my library has it among their collection.

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  27. Thanks so much for the suggestion! I'll pop it in my netflix basket today!

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  28. I love this movie! I have it and now I have to watch it again. The husband is the same actor from Burnt By the Sun, did you know?
    Have you seen "Tsotsi"? It's a very different look at South Africa. It won the Oscar for best Foreign Film a couple of years ago--well worth seeing.

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  29. I look forward to this one too - just about to watch Ryan's Daughter. xv

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  30. Forget I said that about Burnt by the Sun. It's someone else I'm thinking of. I'll get back to you on it.

    Kat

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  31. This sounds like a great movie, Willow. I wish we had netflix here in Canada, but I'll just have to find another way to get it. Have a great week!

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  32. Don't have netflix but do have the library's collection! Will look for this one, Willow :)

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  33. I love films filmed in Africa - particularly on the wide screen in the cinema rather than on DVD - you get that wonderful sense of space.

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  34. This is definitely something I'm interested in seeing. Thanks.

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  35. I am looking forward to the first week of June at the beach. I always try to find a really important film I have not seen to enjoy during the hottest hours of the day when I must retreat indoors.
    This one has made he top of the list. Thanks for the tip!

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  36. Thanks for the recommendation. I will be getting it from Netflix.

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  37. This looks like a wonderful film, Willow. (I confess I don't know what 'Netflix' is but I shall find out and see if I can watch the film!)

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  38. That looks like my kind of movie. I love a movie that has a great story and is beautiful to watch. Thanks for pointing this one out.

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  39. It sounds like a moving story. I remember when it came out, but for whatever reason, I didn't get to see it. I'll have to try to put it on our netflix queue. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  40. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  41. I do enjoy your film reviews.

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  42. Sounds great, I'll put it on my list of films to see.

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  43. Can't wait to watch this one -I am going there in August for three weeks and am reading and watching to prepare.

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  44. You love it so much, it makes me excited to view it.

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  45. Do you know what I love about you? Everything.
    I love your weekly word, your beautifully written movie reviews, and everything you do in this richly artistic blog of yours.
    It's why I keep coming back. So, thanks. I can't wait to see this movie.

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  46. it sounds mesmerizing! i so enjoy movies with large views of gorgeous landscapes.

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  47. Willow, thanks so much for telling us about this movie. I was raised in South Africa, and am already feeling nostalgic from the short clip. It truly is a beautiful country. It is truly a heart-capturing place..

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  48. Hello Willow,

    I hadn't heard of this film but it looks like one I would enjoy. Thanks!

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  49. Gosh!
    This seems like one for me!
    Will copy the name down.
    Happy April fool's day.

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  50. Looks like a great film. Thanks for the intro (I'll have to drop by the manor more often.)

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  51. Is Stephanie Zwieg any relation to Stefan Zweig about whom everyone seems to be talking atm - in France anyway. I think a new book has been published about him.

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  52. Adding it to Husband's NetFlix queue

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  53. I MUST find the time to see more movies...this sounds like a good one. It's a shame that more people don't see small independent films. Most of the film you see advertised on TV are violent trash.

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  54. Hi Willow,

    I have a gift for you at my website that is for everyone to share, anyone who comes to your website can share this gift too. All you have to do is stop by my website to get your gift and that is how easy it is. Only takes a few minutes and the gift is yours. Everyone seems to be enjoying this gift and sharing it with each other, so I hope you will stop by and enjoy.

    Take care and God bless.

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  55. Wow, even the trailer is powerful! It's in my queue!! Thanks, Willow.

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  56. Thanks, I shall look out for it.

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  57. I watched this film when it came out in the USA and loved it. Caroline Link has made other beautiful movies, she is a very talented and hard working artist. Here is a scene from "Jenseits der Stille" ("Beyond Silence").

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  58. I've never heard of it, but it sounds wonderful. Will add it to my 'must watch' list :)

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  59. thanks Willow - have added it my netflix!

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  60. I'm obsessed with everything about Africa and will definitely watch this film!

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  61. The shot of the woman looking out to sea on her passage to Africa always makes me think of my mother. I’m certain she, too, stood looking toward the horizon as the ship she was on sailed from Australia to Africa.

    ‘Nowhere in Africa’ is indeed a powerful film and one which I’ve watched several times. I love that it has none of the mushy effusiveness and cinematic schmaltz of Pollack’s ‘Out of Africa’. It’s rather a pity, though, that the film doesn’t include the problems Regina (Stefanie Zweig in real life) encountered after returning to Europe after all those years in Africa. Perhaps that should be a sequel?

    (What a wonderful blog you have, Willow. I came over from Cuban in London where he'd mentioned your review of this film and, gosh, I'm so pleased I did!)

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  62. I am very aware of these problems.
    I worked before being laywer for development in Africa. These African countries need us ...
    Look on my blog that is new. I wrote one or two texts on Africa

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  63. Willow--This movie is one of 2 that evoked in me a fit of uncontrollable crying for half an hour after the film ended. I'm still trying to figure out why. But I do know that during the scene when the little girl and cook first meet each other, a sweet melody is played that creates a sense of magic happening. As I recall it repeats during other encounters. I'm so happy to have discovered your blog. Absolutely lovely.

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  64. ...Thanks for the review...this is now added to my ever lengthening Netflix list!

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  65. Willow,

    I just wanted to THANK YOU for this recommendation. After reading your review and seeing the trailer, I listed this one in Netflix, too. I watched it last night and thought it was wonderful ... what beautiful lessons in life on perseverance and abiding love.

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  66. Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

    I would appreciate if a staff member here at willowmanor.blogspot.com could post it.

    Thanks,
    Thomas

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)