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Movie Review: Nowhere in Africa

Alternate Title: Diaspora Goes to Africa

Story: I recently selected this film as my LOBO Oscar pick for Best Foreign Film from simply seeing the previews and after seeing the entire film, I am glad I did. I loved this beautiful, rich, layered, textured film and still have some of the images floating around in my head.

There are endless fascinating stories having to do with the Holocaust and this one is no exception. A lawyer, his wife and young daughter relocate from Nazi Germany in 1938 to Kenya. There are, of course, references to anti-Semitism and the horrors of the War, but the main story is told through the eyes of the child as she becomes a part of the heart and soul of this beautiful continent. Each character evolves in a very believable story line and none of the characters are simply black and white. They are all treated with respect and the audience is allowed, or should I say encouraged to do some thinking on its own. The beauty of the multilayered film lies in its non-preachy tone.

Directed by Caroline Link (who also wrote the screenplay) based on Stephanie Zweig's autobiographical novel, it recently won five Lolas (the German Oscar) including Best Picture and Director.

I encourage you to run out to see this film. You won't regret it.

Acting: Merab Ninidze (as Walter, the father) is an extremely handsome man and was terrifically believable. Juliane Kohler (as Jettel, the wife) was also wonderful. Her resemblance to the X-Files' Gillian Anderson was a bit distracting for me. And both Lea Kurka and Karoline Eckertz as the young Regina's were brilliant.

Predilection: I tend to like sagas.

Critters: It is Africa - there are lots of animals (some if whom end up also in the food category). To name a few - antelope, cattle, zebras, dogs, locust and birds.

Food: See above - they also ate lots of potatoes and maize. The Atkins diet would not have been popular at this point in time.

Visual Art: The landscape of Kenya was thrillingly beautiful.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Just the right mix.

Opening Titles: Simple type superimposed over the soaring Kenyan landscape.

Theater Audience: A small appreciative group.

Squirm Scale: There were a few scenes with animals that had me averting my eyes.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: One.

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Nit Picking: It was a little too long.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen.

Length: 2 hours and 20 minutes.