Foreign Favourites: Nowhere in Africa

It’s been a while since we had an entry to my Foreign Favourites series, but Cindy Bruchman has happily entered the fray with a review of a very intriguing sounding film. She has a fantastic site filled with great analysis of films and books that is definitely worth a detailed look. Here’s her take on the award-winning German film Nowhere in Africa.

Nowhere in Africa film poster

Quick Synopsis: (IMDB)

A Jewish family in Germany emigrate short before the Second World War. They move to Kenya to start running a farm, but not all members of the family come to an arrangement with their new life.

Nowhere in Africa film still

Escaping the Nazi regime in 1938, a Jewish family become farmers in remote Kenya. Walter Redlich is a judge and his wife Jettel is fond of her comfortable life-style and resents her barren life. Their five-year-old daughter, Regina, is an inquisitive girl who adapts to the culture of Kenya and a Christian boarding school. Half of the narrative focuses on a girl growing up and the other half focuses on the strained marriage of Walter and Regina.

The film’s strength rests on the acting and the unique plot. Actress Juliane Köhler plays the complicated Jettel Redlich with sophistication. Swaying with coldness and frustration and tenderness, as was her portrayal as Eva Braun in Downfall (2004), in Nowhere in Africa, Juliane Köhler is convincing. A marriage of compromise and frustration with secrets and resolution, it is a worth your time to watch the evolution of their marriage.

Add a parallel plot that twines through the starving marriage to their daughter, Regina. Her friendship with farm cook, Owuor, counter-balances the marriage with heartwarming richness. Owuor functions as nanny and bridge between Europe and Kenyan lifestyles. For Regina, who might have well as been transplanted to Mars as Kenya, Owuor is indispensable as the consistent element, the North Star of her universe. As a coming-of-age story for Regina and Jettel (Mom’s more a child than her daughter) grow up and handle their plight with satisfying enlightenment. Poor Walter Redlich, played by Merab Ninidze, who endures his tempestuous wife and worries about his parents left in Nazi Germany. Cheers to female director and writer Caroline Link for creating a fine film. Did you see in 2008, A Year Ago in Winter? 

Nowhere in Africa still from film

Final Grade: 8/10

My thanks again to Cindy for participating. I’ve seen quite a few German films, and this one sounds like one I definitely need to see and add to a future quiz. Would be fun to read the book too I imagine. 

Line(s) of the Day #Don’tDreamIt’sOver

Don't Dream it's over

There is freedom within, there is freedom without
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
There’s a battle ahead, many battles are lost
But you’ll never see the end of the road
While you’re travelling with me.

The opening lyrics of the song Don’t Dream It’s Over by Australian band Crowded House from their self-titled debut album in 1986.

Travel Snapshot: (Raphael) Chinese Designer in Rome

Design photo

Chinese Raphael

When out with Madeleine in Rome, near the Colliseum, we saw this man designing names with a Chinese theme on a strip of paper. There wasn’t a long queue, and he said it wouldn’t take long so I thought, why not?   Madeleine took a photo while he was halfway though. I put the final effort on my door.

Film Quizzes: 90s Courtroom Dramas

With the release of The Judge with Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall, it got me thinking about what other courtroom dramas have been made before. And one decade which produced plenty of quality courtroom films is the 90s, including one which also starred Duvall. See how many of the chronologically-ordered films below you can work out.

Continue reading

Gr8at: Neatly timed Nature Shots

One of the incredible things about photography is that skill in capturing nature at its most spectacular. Below are eight of my favourite photographs from shots I’ve saved over the years. Is there one that strikes you more than others? Which do you wish you’d taken?

Continue reading

Line(s) of the Day #KindHeartsandCoronets

Kind Hearts and Coronets

I made an oath that I would revenge the wrongs her family had done her. It was no more than a piece of youthful bravado, but it was one of those acorns from which great oaks are destined to grow. Even then I went so far as to examine the family tree and prune it to just the living members. But what could I do to hurt them? What could I take from them, except, perhaps, their lives.

Line(s) of the Day #Dynamo


Magic makes people ask questions and I’m used to that. The whole point of magic for me is taking things that don’t exist and bringing them to life.

The outrageously gifted magician Dynamo (born Steven Frayne). His TV show Dynamo: Magician Impossible has been watched by over 250m people in 187 countries worldwide. The quote is from his interview with Katie Glass in The Sunday Times Magazine.

Line(s) of the Day #PeepShow

Peep Show

Jez: “You knew what would happen. As soon as you mentioned chocolate, you knew I’d want to eat it. You know my nature.”
Mark: “Now, just don’t come to me asking for some more when you didn’t have the foresight…”
Jez: “Can I have a bit more?”

Robert Webb and David Mitchell in the long-running British sitcom Peep Show (2003 – ).