#10. Nowhere in Africa (2001)
I was immediately transported the first time I saw Out of Africa. Meryl Streep, vast swaths of the Serengeti. Robert Redford. What’s not to love? It immediately made me want to go to the continent. The problem, unfortunately, is that because it came out in 1985, it now feels very dated… even for a period piece. And let’s be honest…her accent is a bit much.
That’s why Nowhere in Africa, a German film based on a true story about a Jewish family escaping to Kenya from the Nazis, is one of my favorites. It tells the story of the incredible bravery that one woman had to face when she made both the physical and emotional transition moving there with her family.
Every character in this film is real and flawed. It doesn’t idealize Africa, but instead shows the land as it is: harsh, stunningly beautiful, dysfunctional. I’m drawn to places that showcase intense wildlife but are filled with political and societal complication. The film also has an amazing soundtrack: haunting, dream-inducing…everything that Africa means to me.
Watch the theatrical trailer: