Nowhere in Africa

Rated 5.0 An affluent Jewish couple (Merab Ninidze, Juliane Köhler) and their young daughter, Regina (played at different ages by Lea Kurka and Karoline Eckertz), flee to Kenya in 1938 to escape persecution in budding Nazi Germany in this gorgeously photographed drama. They struggle with the stress and strain of emigration, their new lives as dirt-poor tenant farmers and a world war that suddenly downgrades their status as refugees to that of enemy aliens. Director Caroline Link’s skill at painting intimate scenes onto an epic canvas makes this an extremely resonant, adult love story, as flawed yet compelling characters take turns falling in and out of favor with each other and in love with a country that saves their lives. The acting is excellent, with Sidede Onyulo emanating potent, wordless expressions of disappointment, sadness, happiness, contentment, inner strength and understanding as the family’s loyal cook. The script is adapted from Stefanie Zweig’s autobiographical novel Nirgendwo in Afrika.