Sunday, October 12, 2008

Nowhere in Africa

Caroline Link, Germany, 2001 (9.0*)

Best Foreign Film (AA)
Terrific story of a Jewish family who decides to move to Kenya from Germany to escape the Nazis just before World War 2. This is a riveting and very personal story, perfectly acted and constructed.

The majority of the story involves the wife, brilliantly played by Juliane Kohler, and her only child, a daughter. The film spans years, we get to see the effect of being far removed from a homeland has on the parents, and the effect of being raised in Africa on the daughter.

African actor Merab Ninidze is terrific and extremely likeable as the family's cook, who quietly helps them all cope with life in Africa. This film was everything Out of Africa should have been, it's much more real and believable, and more humane. This is a film I can watch again and again. One Oscar - Caroline Link becoming just the 2nd woman to win an Oscar® for directing a foreign language film. Marlene Gorris (Netherlands) was the first, in 1996 for Antonia's Line.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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