Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika) (2001)



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

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 … More

Rating: R (for some sexual content)
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Caroline Link
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 30, 2003
Box Office: $5.9M
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site



as Jettel Redlich

as Walter Redlich

as Regina

as Susskind

as Older Regina

as Mrs. Sadler

as Eisa Konrad

as Young Jogona

as Older Jogona

as Kimani

as Captain Caruther

as Captain Caruther

as Mr. Brindley

as Robert Green

as Mr. Morrison

as Mrs. Rubens

as Walter Redlich

as Mr. Rubens

as Johannes

as Sled Boy

as British Officer in N...

as Patel

as Daji Jiwan

as Patel

as Mr. Rubens

as British Officer in N...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Nowhere in Africa (Nirgendwo in Afrika)

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (36)

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

June 26, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

The acting is excellent.

Full Review… | May 16, 2003
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

plods through new terrain in Holocaust related subject matter with a shotgun mentality

Full Review… | April 5, 2012
Old School Reviews

Very moving, well-written, and better-acted, but bitterly realistic.

Full Review… | March 30, 2007
Global Rhythm Magazine

Nowhere in Africa is long enough that each character is meticulously studied and developed while Link takes the time also to provide wonderfully patient, artistic moments

Full Review… | March 24, 2005

Una buena historia para decir un par de cosas sobre el desarraigo, los lazos familiares, y la chance de empezar una nueva vida siempre que sea necesario.

Full Review… | January 8, 2004
Uruguay Total

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

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

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.

Super Reviewer

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