Dreamed of Africa"
minutes Columbia Tristar Home Video
Hugh Hudson ("Chariots of Fire")
Eva Marie Saint
Scenes suggesting sexual congress
Scenes of slaughtered animals with gore and blood
title captures it all: It is a movie set in Africa about Africa. For
some 80 minutes you, the viewer, are shown the beautiful sights of
Kenya (Eastern Africa), from the rugged mountaintops to the broad
savannahs to the stunning valleys. The cinematography in this movie
captures some of the great beauty of life in Africa and presents it
in its best form. There were scenes where the view took my breath
movie is chock-full of and seems in part to be about wildlife.
Elephants take center stage. There are scenes with lions, impala,
buffalo and the symbolic, ever-circling vulture. The preservation
and sanctity of life is a strong message this story desires to
spread. In "I Dreamed of Africa," even snakes get their
15 minutes of fame, or is it infamy?
this film you get a few glimpses into the lives of the native
peoples living on the lands in Kenya. The movie portrays them as
living just above poverty, having little education but a broad
knowledge of the land and the spiritual forces that govern life.
There is a basic respect between the different factions, but that
is overwhelmed and superseded by economic forces.
movie isnít about the native peoples, though, but rather about
Europeans who go there and dominate the countryside. Kuki Gallman
(Kim Basinger) and her husband, Paolo (Vincent Perez), traveled to
Kenya from Venice in this true story of adventure and tragedy.
Together they found that the rhythm of Africa was far different
from their accustomed life in Italy. The initial glamour and
beauty of Africa soon fade. Life is hard as they settle on an
estate that is run-down and isolated, in an area where there are
raging storms, poachers and wild animals which threaten their very
survival. In addition to these African threats, Kuki is abandoned
by her husband, Paolo, for long periods of time, to fend for
herself while he gallivants across the countryside in search of
high adventure and the fulfillment of boyhood dreams.
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strikes not once, but twice, in this movie. The basic question and
theme of the movie seems to be whether Kuki decides to stay or leave,
whether she loves Africa or hates it, and sometimes whether she
herself will survive it. In the end, Kuki not only stays, but she is
Basinger is less than convincing in this movie. While I really like
Kim and much of her previous work, she seems much too soft in body and
spirit for this role. I marveled that she didnít get eaten by lions
in the early scenes, and I had a hard time envisioning that this
feminine beauty had the strength, stamina and the endurance to
survive, let alone transform their estate into a livable habitation.
The rest of the cast is a little less than present.
whole film has a very dream-like quality to it even before it leaves
Italy. Dream-like movies can either set you free or can trap you: I
think I was trapped by this movie (in the middle of the night I
dreamed I was attacked by wild animals and was kicking them; in the
process I kicked the cat off the bed). This is a romantic movie for
romantic people who enjoy a slow story with little action but plenty
of imaginative adventure. At the end, a small part of the plot remains
in all, this movie has a pretty good family message. Some of the
scenery is well worth the price of admission, and I recommend it as a
good second-string movie; when you have seen all the other movies you
want to see, go back and pick up "I Dreamed of Africa" and
see if you concur. I give it 2Ĺ stars.