Nowhere in Africa

( 4 )


A family on the run for their lives finds themselves in a beautiful but utterly unfamiliar world in this drama based on the autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig. Walter Redlich Merab Ninidze is a successful Jewish lawyer living in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. Aware of the increasing dangers of remaining in Germany, Walter seeks exile on a farm in Kenya, while his socially prominent wife, Jettel Juliane Koehler, and his young daughter, Regina Lea Kurka, stay behind, as does his father, Max Gerd ...
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A family on the run for their lives finds themselves in a beautiful but utterly unfamiliar world in this drama based on the autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig. Walter Redlich Merab Ninidze is a successful Jewish lawyer living in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich. Aware of the increasing dangers of remaining in Germany, Walter seeks exile on a farm in Kenya, while his socially prominent wife, Jettel Juliane Koehler, and his young daughter, Regina Lea Kurka, stay behind, as does his father, Max Gerd Heinz, and Jettel's sister, Kaethe Regine Zimmermann. In time, as the pogroms against the Jews increase in Germany, Jettel and Regina join Walter in Kenya, but the transition is not easy for Walter, who is still learning the nuts and bolts of running the farm and discovers that Germans are not welcomed by the British settlers in Kenya, or Jettel, who is not accustomed to physical labor and resents having to help with the farming. While Regina at first finds her new surroundings alienating and unfamiliar, she soon becomes fascinated with the rugged beauty of Kenya and becomes fast friends with Owuor Sidede Onyulo, who serves as the family's cook. In time, Germany invades Africa, and Walter finds himself in a British internment camp; Jettel and Regina also are captured, but Jettel uses her sexual allure to persuade a British officer to arrange for Walter to be put in charge of another farm, and Regina is sent to a boarding school for girls. After the war, the Redlichs must decide whether to remain in Kenya or to return to the country that would have persecuted them.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Disc 1; Filmmaker's Commentary; Making-Of Featurette; Cast and Crew Interviews; Storyboard Comparison; Score Selections; Photo Montage; Theatrical Trailer; ; Disc 2; Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sobel
Winner of an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, among a host of other awards and nominations, Caroline Link's understated and evocative Nowhere in Africa offers an idiosyncratic perspective of the Holocaust. Adapted from the autobiographical novel by Stephanie Zweig, the film traces the life of a middle-class Jewish family as it relocates to Kenya to escape the tension building in late-1930s Germany. Walter Redlich Merab Ninidze, an urbane attorney from Frankfurt, tries gamely to adjust to his new roles as farm overseer and "bwana" in the local social order. Conversely, his pretty, pampered wife, Jettel Juliane Köhler, arrives in Africa toting her fine china and her eveningwear and does all she can to resist the new home that has been thrust upon her. But it is through the untainted eyes of the couple's young daughter, Regina Regine Zimmermann, that we see the lives of these transplanted adults subtly evolve. Then, as the war rages in Europe, British colonial authorities round up the family and intern them, despite the fact that, as Jews, they are clearly foes of Nazi Germany. Countless films have dealt with the Holocaust and its aftereffects, but few feel as personal and as immediate as this touching film, which is set so far from Europe. A cast of fine actors round out the story, particularly Sidede Onyulo, who gives a big-hearted turn as Owuor, the Redlichs' avuncular cook and unofficial caretaker.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
As narrated by young Regina, Nowhere in Africa is a straightforward tale of white people among the natives that is gently warmed by the affectionate viewpoint of a child. Though the upper-class Redlichs make it through culture shock, draught, locust attacks, and WWII, they don't ever suffer to the point of uncomfortable viewing. Rather, the attractive cast plays out a family drama full of intimate details set in the vast gorgeousness of the Kenyan plains. By the third act, the images scale down in scope making the once-overwhelming grasslands appear more like a pleasant community of trees and huts. As the central figure of Jettel, Juliane Köhler makes a believable transformation from fussy bourgeois housewife to independent farm manager. Though the narrative does get bogged down with domestic melodrama about the Redlichs' turbulent marriage, it is restored by the story of Regina, played wonderfully by both Lea Kurka and Karoline Eckertz. Bravely encountering each life-altering change, her innocent coming of age leads to sisterly wisdom as well as a liberal world view. The native Kenyan populations -- neither reduced to the background nor given a voice regarding the British colonial rule of their country -- are still sensitively captured in close-ups and granted some choice delicate moments. The house cook Owuor (Sidede Onyulo) is fully characterized as the glue that holds the farm and family together, not to mention the best friend and role model to Regina and language teacher to everyone else. The musical score by Niki Reiser also works to keep things wholly authentic yet tenderly satisfying.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/17/2012
  • UPC: 795975114332
  • Original Release: 2001
  • Rating:

  • Source: Zeitgeist Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Subtitled
  • Time: 2:22:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 42,010

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Juliane Köhler Jettel Redlich
Merab Ninidze Walter Redlich
Matthias Habich Suesskind
Sidede Onyulo Owuor
Lea Kurka Regina Redlich (younger)
Karoline Eckertz Regina Redlich (older)
Regine Zimmermann Kaethe
Gerd Heinz Max
Hildegard Schmahl Ina
Maritta Horwarth Liesel
Gabrielle Odinis Klara
Bettina Redlich Mrs. Sadler
Julia Leidl Inge
Mechthild Grossmann Elsa Konrad
Peter Lenaeku Jogona as a Boy
Silas Kerati Jogona as an Adult
Kanya Man
Andy Rashleigh Captain Caruther
Anthony Bate Mr. Brindley
David Michaels Robert Green
Andrew Sachs Mr. Rubens
Diane Keen Mrs. Rubens
Herbert Knaup Voice Only
Joel Wajsberg Hubert
Miriam Wajsberg Ruth
Marian Lösch Johannes
Bela Klenze Boy With Sledge
Dokdin Kanyaman Kimani
Steve Weston Mr. Morrison
Kenny Brown Bure
Levit Pereira Daji Jiwan
Steven Price British Officer in Norfolk
M.M. Shah Patel
Rainer Bartesch Conductor
Sandra Vontobel Singer
Technical Credits
Caroline Link Director, Screenwriter
Andreas Bareiss Executive Producer
Renate Bauer Makeup
Susann Bieling Production Designer
Andorthe Braker Casting
Uwe Bünker Casting
Tschangis Chahrokh Sound Mixer
Beth Charkham Casting
Sven Ebeling Co-producer
Bernd Eichinger Co-producer
Chris Evert Production Manager
Karin Gatzke Musical Direction/Supervision
Nanni Gebhardt-Seele Makeup
Barbara Grupp Costumes/Costume Designer
Erwin Gschwind Special Effects
Magda Habernickel Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Hermann Producer
Peter Herrmann Producer
Stephanie Hilke Makeup
Lenny Juma Casting
Scott Kirby Asst. Director
Thilo Kleine Co-producer
Jeanette Latzelsberger Makeup
Elke Lebender Makeup
Uli Madej Makeup
Einar Marell Sound/Sound Designer
Dorota Martyn Makeup
Benedict Mirow Consultant/advisor
Mark Nolting Production Manager
Michael Praun Camera Operator
Annette Prey Sound/Sound Designer
Niki Reiser Score Composer
Agentur Jacqueline Rietz Casting
Tony Rimwah Asst. Director
Gernot Roll Cinematographer
Patricia Rommel Editor
Pitt Rotter Special Effects
Maria Seidle Makeup
Nicolai Semjevski Asst. Director
Sebastian Sorger Asst. Director
Soundabout Sound/Sound Designer
Marcel Spisak Sound/Sound Designer
Kerstin Stattmann Makeup
Uwe Szielasko Production Designer
Michael Weber Co-producer
Andreas Wölki Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Nowhere In Africa
1. Start [:36]
2. An Upsetting Letter [7:13]
3. Malaria [3:48]
4. Welcome to Rongai [5:33]
5. "We Can't Live Here" [2:53]
6. Susskind [2:12]
7. Women's Work [7:26]
8. The Luck of a Gentile [8:05]
9. Ngai Ceremony [1:51]
10. Internment [6:35]
11. Accepting the Sergeant's Offer [14:09]
12. Gibson's Farm [2:48]
13. Kimani [2:05]
14. A Letter from Home [4:00]
15. Return of the Native [1:42]
16. Outsiders [3:11]
17. Headmaster Brinkley [1:38]
18. No Longer a Little Girl [3:24]
19. Operation J [3:44]
20. "You Had an Affair at Norfolk" [6:05]
21. Germany, Judaism & Tolerance [7:05]
22. A Big Ngoma [2:43]
23. His Family's Fate [2:10]
24. "I Want to Return to Germany" [3:21]
25. Locusts [4:11]
26. "I'm Pregnant" [10:37]
27. Going on a Long Safari [5:29]
28. Farewell to Africa [7:02]
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Disc #1 -- Nowhere In Africa
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Set Up
      Filmmaker's Commentary with Director Caroline Link, Actress Juliane Kohler, and Producer Peter Herrmann: On/Off
      English Subtitles: On/Off
         English Subtitles: On
         English Subtitles: Off
      English Feature Subtitles: On/Off
         English Feature Subtitles: On
         English Feature Subtitles: Off
Disc #2 -- Nowhere In Africa
   Deleted Scenes
      Play All
      Play All with Commentary by Director Caroline Link
      Juliane Kohler
      Matthias Habich
      Merab Ninidze
      Sidede Onyulu
      Caroline Link, Peter Herrmann and Stephanie Zweig
   Making of "Nowhere in Africa"
   Score Selections
      Hänsel und Gretel
      Nirgendwo in Africa l
   Photo Montage* with Commentary by Producer Peter Herrmann
   Storyboard Comparison*
   Theatrical Trailers
      Nowhere in Africa
      I Dreamed of Africa
      Secret Ballot
      Dark Blue World
      Subtitles: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A Humane War Story

    A Jewish family flees Nazi Germany to Kenya, makes a new life, and ultimately returns to Germany after the War. It is a wonderfully sensitive story harmonizing the view of the father, mother and child, and the German-Jewish, English, and African cultures. The best movie about WW II I can remember.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010


    I truely enjoyed this movie. I am happy I bought it. I shared it with some of my family and they to enjoyed it. Check it out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews