Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika)2001

Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (2001)



Critic Consensus: A visually lovely epic with compelling, three-dimensional characters.

Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) Photos

Movie Info

A tale, which follows a young Jewish family from Germany to Kenya as they flee the Nazi regime at the onset of World War II. Jettel Redlich, of upper-class upbringing, and her daughter Regina, moves to Kenya to be with her husband Walter. Walter works as a farm manager, while Regina and Jettel are adjusting to their new home. Then Britain declares war on Germany, and the family is again separated. Through Jettel's affair with a British solider, her family is given preferential treatment. Regina is able to attend school and Walter is given a good job. But after the war, the family is too fractured to reunite and Walter contemplates a return to Germany, while Regina and Jettel have never felt more at home.

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Juliane Köhler
as Jettel Redlich
Merab Ninidze
as Walter Redlich
Lea Kurka
as Regina
Karoline Eckertz
as Older Regina
Bettina Redlich
as Mrs. Sadler
Mechthild Grossman
as Eisa Konrad
Peter Lenaeku
as Young Jogona
Silas Kerati
as Older Jogona
Kanya Man
as Kimani
Andy Rashleigh
as Captain Caruther
Andrew Rashleigh
as Captain Caruther
Anthony Bate
as Mr. Brindley
David Michaels
as Robert Green
Steve Weston
as Mr. Morrison
Diane Keen
as Mrs. Rubens
Herbert Knaup
as Walter Redlich
Andrew Sachs
as Mr. Rubens
Marian Lösch
as Johannes
Bela Klenze
as Sled Boy
Steven Price
as British Officer in Norfolk
M.M. Sha
as Patel
Levit Pereira
as Daji Jiwan
M.M. Shah
as Patel
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Critic Reviews for Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika)

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (37)

Link's movie is an absorbing tale of cultural displacement and adjustment. It's also a remarkably complex examination of a marriage.

March 8, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Everything in the film rings true, is deeply moving, richly photographed, and wonderfully acted.

June 26, 2003 | Rating: 5/5

It's exactly the sort of import you'd expect to walk off with an Academy Award.

May 25, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

The acting is excellent.

May 16, 2003 | Rating: B+

The film has the glorious sweep of an epic.

May 9, 2003 | Full Review…

Link creates a complex and fascinating portrait of a marriage under the enormous stress of geographical dislocation and historical trauma.

May 9, 2003 | Rating: B+

Audience Reviews for Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika)

A Jewish family from Germany flees to Africa to avoid the rise of Hitler. The performances by all the main actors are absolutely excellent, especially by Merab Ninidze and Sidede Onyulo. The characters ring true, and the situations are all believable. Even the bratty behavior by Jettel, who misses the privileges of her life in Germany, seems logical when one remembers that she doesn't have the benefit of concentration camp photographs that have been handed down to us by history. Ironically and interestingly, what is frustrating about Nowhere in Africa is also one of its greatest strengths: once again, here is a film about Africa with white protagonists, so the racism inherent in never telling African stories from an African perspective continues. Yet the point behind Nowhere in Africa is that even victims of racism, in this case the Jewish family, can exhibit racist tendencies. It's a remarkable concept because unlike other films about Nazism it doesn't reduce the world into clearly defined categories of good and evil. The ending is unsatisfying, but the film opened a Pandora's Box with the complexity of its theme, and any ending that I can think of would ultimately be as reductive as the one the filmmakers chose. Overall, Nowhere in Africa is a very good, unique film if only for the cinematography, but the complexity of its theme and the sharpness of its characters make it quite extraordinary.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

A different tale of WWll, that of an affluent Jewish family that escapes Germany to live dirt poor in Kenya. A very busy film, interesting and multileveled, with stuff constantly going on that threatens to break up the small clan, not the least being how they themselves disagree about Africa and her people, Germany and her people, and where is it that they really belong. Thoroughly engaging.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

An excellent historical expose of exiled jews, and the trials they suffered during WWII. Very insightful film. One more take on the Nazi atrocities, and the resettlement of Jews. Interesting to show that there were those who believed enough in their German heritage to have the committment of reconstruction.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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