Nowhere in Africa
Nowhere in Africa is a 2001 German film directed by Caroline Link
Caroline Link
Caroline Link , is a German film director and screenwriter.-Life and work:Caroline Link is the daughter of Jürgen and Ilse Link. From 1986 to 1990 she studied at the Munich Academy of Film and Television , and then worked as an assistant director and script writer.Link's early work includes the...

 and based on the autobiographical novel
Autobiographical novel
An autobiographical novel is a form of novel using autofiction techniques, or the merging of autobiographical and fiction elements. The literary technique is distinguished from an autobiography or memoir by the stipulation of being fiction...

 of the same name by Stefanie Zweig
Stefanie Zweig
Stefanie Zweig Stefanie Zweig Stefanie Zweig (born 19 September 1932, Leobschütz (now Głubczyce, Upper Silesia) is a German Jewish writer.- Background :Zweig is best known for her autobiographical novel, Nirgendwo in Afrika (Nowhere in Africa, 1998), based on her early life in Kenya, which was...

. It tells the story of a Jewish family that emigrates to Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 to escape the Nazis
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 and run a farm. The film won an Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 for Best Foreign Language Film
Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards of Merit, popularly known as the Oscars, handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...



In 1938, the Redlich family flees to Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 from Leobschütz in Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

, Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, to escape the increasing persecution of the Jews. Walter, a former lawyer, finds work as a farm manager and sends for his family. His wife Jettel has trouble adjusting to life in Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, although their daughter Regina quickly adapts to her new environment, easily learning the language of the country and showing interest in local culture. Regina soon forms a close friendship with the farm's cook, Owuor.

When war breaks out, the British round up all German citizens, and hold them, whether Jew or gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

, separating men from women. The Redlichs' marriage begins to deteriorate. Jettel sleeps with a German-speaking British soldier to secure work and a home on a farm for the family, and Regina and Walter both find out.

Walter decides to join the British army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and wants Jettel to go to Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also forms the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to "the place of cool waters". However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is...

 with him, but she refuses and stays to run the farm with Owuor. Regina is sent to an English boarding school, and is kept there for years, only being able to come back every so often during the harvest season. During this time, Jettel and Süsskind develop a relationship (whether they slept together or not is implied but never mentioned).

Walter comes back from the war, and states that the British army's policy is to send all soldiers and their families back home. Jettel refuses to go with him, saying the farm needs her. Eventually their relationship rekindles itself, and Jettel allows Walter to decide whether or not they should leave. Walter applies for a position as a judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 in post-war Germany
History of Germany since 1945
As a consequence of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II Germany was split between the two global blocs in the East and West, a period known as the division of Germany. While seven million prisoners and forced laborers left Germany, over 10 million German speaking refugees arrived there from...


The final scene shows Walter, Regina, and Jettel traveling on an African train, as the train stops, and an African woman offers Jettel a banana, only to show her how much Africa meant to her.


The film was very well received by many international critics. Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune called Nowhere in Africa "stunning". Keneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times hailed the film as being "laced with poigancy and conflict, urgency and compassion." "I loved this film!" raved Roger Ebert; "...this is the kind of movie that real people really, really like!"


  • Juliane Köhler
    Juliane Köhler
    Juliane Köhler is a German theatre, television, and film actress.Köhler was born in Göttingen to a puppeteer. From 1985-88 she studied under Uta Hagen in New York City and attended the HB acting studio. She also received ballet instruction from Daniela Glück in Munich, Bavaria...

     – Jettel Redlich
  • Merab Ninidze
    Merab Ninidze
    Merab Ninidze is a Georgian actor. He is best known for the role of Walter Redlich in Nowhere in Africa.- Biography :From 1986 to 1991 he played at the Rustaveli State Academic Theater in Tbilisi. After moving to Austria in 1994, he now lives and works in Vienna and Berlin.-Selected...

     – Walter Redlich
  • Sidede Onyulo
    Sidede Onyulo
    Sidede Onyulo was a Kenyan actor, most famous for his role as Owour in Oscar winning movie Nowhere in Africa.-Early life:Sidede Onyulo was born Peter Sidede Onyulo in Kajulu , attended school at Muthaiga Primary and at Nairobi School before enrolling at the University of Nairobi where he...

     – Owuor
  • Matthias Habich
    Matthias Habich
    Matthias Habich is a German actor.Habich was born in Danzig and lives in Paris. In the 2001 film Enemy at the Gates about Stalingrad, he played the part of General Friedrich Paulus...

     – Süsskind
  • Lea Kurka – Regina (younger)
  • Karoline Eckertz – Regina (older)
  • Gerd Heinz – Max
  • Hildegard Schmahl – Ina
  • Maritta Horwarth – Liesel
  • Regine Zimmermann – Käthe
  • Gabrielle Odinis – Dienstmädchen Klara
  • Bettina Redlich – Mrs. Sadler
  • Julia Leidl – Inge
  • Mechthild Grossmann – Elsa Konrad
  • Joel Wajsberg – Hubert
  • Andrew Sachs
    Andrew Sachs
    Andrew Sachs is a German-born British actor. He made his name on British television and is best known for his portrayals of Manuel in Fawlty Towers, a role for which he was BAFTA-nominated, and Ramsay Clegg in Coronation Street.-Early life:Sachs was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Katharina , a...

     – Mr. Rubens
  • Diane Keen
    Diane Keen
    Diane Keen is an English actress.Keen is possibly best known for her starring roles in the British TV drama Doctors which she has been in since 2003 , and in the 1970s comedy series The Cuckoo Waltz and Rings on Their Fingers.-Personal life:Keen has one daughter, actress Melissa Greenwood, from...

     – Mrs. Rubens


  • Deutscher Filmpreis
    Deutscher Filmpreis
    The Deutscher Filmpreis is the highest German movie award. From 1951 to 2004 it was awarded by a commission, since 2005 the award has been given by the Deutsche Filmakademie...

    ("German Film Award": "Golden Lola") 2002
    • Best Film
    • Best Cinematography: Gernot Roll
    • Best Director: Caroline Link
    • Best Music: Niki Reiser
    • Best Supporting Actor: Matthias Habich
  • Bayerischer Filmpreis ("Bavarian Film Award") 2002
    • Best Production (Producer's Award)
  • Bayerischer Filmpreis ("Bavarian Film Award") 2003
    • Public Award
  • 75th Academy Awards
    75th Academy Awards
    The 75th Academy Awards honored the best films of 2002, were held on March 23, 2003, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. It was produced by Gil Cates and hosted for the second time by Steve Martin....

    • Best Foreign Language Film
      Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
      The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards of Merit, popularly known as the Oscars, handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

External links

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