Nowhere in Africa | Chicago Reader

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Adapted from an autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig, this 2001 German feature by writer-director Caroline Link tells of a five-year-old girl (Karoline Eckertz) whose comfortable Jewish family flees Nazi Germany for an isolated farm in Kenya. The girl's barefoot, bare-chested upbringing among the natives offsets her bourgeois mother's racism, yet the mother (Juliane Köhler) eventually matures into a sincere if condescending sensitivity, while the father (Merab Ninidze), an attorney emasculated by exile, steers the family from its idyll back to the new democratic Germany. With the child's delight in her exotic pets and pals, this threatens to turn into an upscale version of The Wild Thornberrys, but for the most part this is a scenic and well-scored Holocaust survival tale. In English and subtitled German and Swahili. 141 min.

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