Nowhere in Africa
March 7, 2003
This film marks the second time that director/writer Caroline Link has had one of her films in the running for the Academy Awards. Her directorial debut, Beyond Silence, was a nominee for the Foreign Language category in 1997. This film is based on the autobiographical novel of Stephanie Zweig who grew up in Kenya during World War II.
The movie has another perspective on the Nazi period in Germany and the many Jews that fled their homeland to escape their wrath. Specifcally, we follow Redlich family as they make their way to Kenya and start a new life. The head of the household, Walter Redlich (Merab Ninidze), is a former attorney who becomes a farm’s caretaker in their new country. His wife Jettel (Juliane Kohler) is greatly impacted by this drastic change and tries to resist adjustment to the local culture and way of life.
Of course, youth is resilient and the Redlichs’ daughter Regina easily takes to absorbing the local ambience. She looks at this as more of an adventure than a forced exile. Lea Kurka plays Regina as a child and Karoline Eckertz portrays the teenage Regina. She also befriends the family’s cook, Owuor (Sidede Onyulo), who helps her see the wonder of the African countryside.
Nowhere in Africa has won numerous awards at various film festivals around the world. The film captured many awards at the 2002 German Film Awards including Best Picture. If reviews of the film are any indication, it should be a strong contender at this year’s Oscars. (Marty Doskins/BOP)