Monday, April 15, 2013

Out of Africa - The Movie

In keeping with my recent 'trip' to Africa via Isak Dinesen and Beryl Markham, I watched the film Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford and directed by Sydney Pollack. I wanted to see again the scenery, fashions, and herds of wild animals that the two authors experienced. 

It is a lovely, lush movie. The background music gives it the same dreamy atmosphere that I felt in reading Dinesen's Out of Africa. (And I realized I should have been reading her words with a Danish accent!) There is more information in the film about her life taken not only from her other writings but two other books: Isak Dinesen - The Life of a Storyteller by Judith Thurman (which won the 1983 National Book Award for Non-fiction) and Silence Will Speak: A Study of the Life of Denys Finch-Hatton and His Relationship With Karen Blixen (1977) by Errol Trzebinski.

More so than the books, the movie shows the harshness of the British Colonial rule, the harm that comes from trying to Europeanize native peoples, and the greed of the big game hunters. 

But that aside, there are some beautiful scenes of graceful giraffes, lions on the hunt, and the lay of the land from the air. I could almost feel the heat of the sun.

And I loved how even in the middle of the all that wilderness, tea was served atop tables adorned with white cloths and fresh flowers. So civilized.

For the time being, though, I am finished with visiting Africa. That is until Maa Ramotswe reappears in the next Alexander McCall Smith tale of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

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