Monday, February 23, 2009

I Dreamed of Africa (2000) PG13 - 4½ Stars

Gosh, I really loved this movie. Based on a true story, Kim Basinger is outstanding as a suburban housewife, returning to Africa with her husband who was born to roam and their young son. The scenery is breathtaking, as the movie sucks you into the experience of living on the edge. It's easy to identify with Bassinger along with her sacrifices as she's reborn in Kenya. Based on the true life of Kuki Gallmann, who dreamed of returning to Africa someday after remembering it as a child.

Kuki Gallman (Kim Basinger), her husband Paolo (Vincent Perez), and their young son Emanuele Pirri (Liam Aiken), find themselves longing for change of their environment. They pack their things, say their goodbyes and move to Kenya to start life in the environment Kuki had dreamed of revisiting since a child. Paolo, along with several ranch hands help, fix up a run down frame of a home as they begin their struggle running a productive ranch, co-existing with nature.

Despite constant set backs, the family finds comfort roaming their land in search of photographing and connecting with their wild animal neighbors. But as beautiful as the nature is, danger lies behind any bush. On one of their many excursions, they learn the tragic secret of poaching and vow to rid their land from these savage killers.

Paolo spends many nights away, with friends hunting, which leads Kuki to begin feelings of resentment. She must be resilient in handling the ranch while her husband gallivant with friends. Kuki finds her fears fade quick, as she protects her newly producing garden from an ending up as an elephants midnight snack. But as Paolo journeys take him more frequently away, his life is tragically ended when he's killed in the environment he loves the most. Now, pregnant and alone with a young son, Kuki faces the questions of returning to the states, or standing strong against the lopsided face off with her beloved Africa.

Jaffilms, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group
Director: Hugh Hudson
Writers: Paula Milne, Susan Shilliday
Producers: Allyn Stewart, Stanley Jaffe
I viewed 2/09

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