Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Check out this 80s Flick: Out of Africa

Karen BIixen: "I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The Equator runs across these highlands, a hundred miles to the north, and the farm lay at an altitude of over six thousand feet. In the day-time you felt that you had got high up; near to the sun, but the early mornings and evenings were limpid and restful, and the nights were cold."

This 1985 film directed by Sydney Pollack has got some of the raddest shots of Kenya's safari region from the air and ground and who can say no to a Meryl Streep and Robert Redford combo film. It starts off in the early 1900s with this Danish baroness wanting to get out of Denmark and does so with a scheme of marrying the brother of her then love interest. I love the culture shock faces she puts on with travelling by cart and meeting the people like the chief (and his umbrella) and her interactions with the indigenous people. A daring woman crossing the land with one compass and her wits - sightings of Masai and lions... really nice part on the whole "why do you want to build a school" idea of what does it mean to learn for the people of Kenya. Applicable today perhaps? Also the contrast when she first arrives with all her things and leaves with nothing but really didn't need anything in the first place. But she left with the most important things of all: her elaborate story making skills and her memories of Africa.

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