I went to my local cinema to see I Dreamed of Africa. Before I went, I read several reviews of this movie. Most of the critics do not like this movie. It’s too slow, not enough drama, too boring. Well, I’ll bet that these critics have never been to Africa. Now, I’m not a movie critic – maybe that’s why I liked this movie.
I Dreamed of Africa stars Kim Basinger as Kuki Gallmann an Italian woman who follows her dream of living in Africa and moves to Kenya. It is based on the book by Kuki Gallmann. Along with her came her son, Emanuele, and husband, Paulo. Both actors (Liam Aiken and Garrett Stromman) that played the role of Emanuele were perfect for the part. They looked like the real Emanuele and were completely convincing. Vincent Perez, who played Paulo, was equally convincing. I did find it hard to watch Kim Basinger as Kuki and not think It’s Kim Basinger in Africa.
The movie hints at Kuki’s animal rights activism in Kenya. There are scenes of animals that have been killed and had their horns or tusks removed by poachers. Kuki is visibly upset by the poaching – the movie begins to touch upon this, but concentrates, instead, on her everyday life in Kenya. This is what disturbed some critics. The movie is Kuki Gallmann’s life in Kenya. Everyday life is not an action packed drama or a romantic comedy. The critics have forgotten that.
I Dreamed of Africa is an accurate portrait of life in Kenya for a non-Kenyan. Kuki quickly found out that things in Kenya can change in the blink of an eye. At one moment she is in the middle of a drought, then the rainy season hits and there is mud everywhere. A wind storm blows down half of her property and then suddenly stops. Disease strikes her cattle and wipes out a good number of them. There is always a challenge in Africa.
I enjoyed this movie very much for what it is – a snapshot into someone else’s life. If you want to see an action/drama – don’t see I Dreamed of Africa. If you want to see a romantic comedy – don’t see I Dreamed of Africa. What you will see is life in Kenya for what it is – a slow pace of life without many of the comforts that have been taken for granted.
I Dreamed of Africa has a different rhythm, just like Africa herself, just like Kenya.
I Dreamed of Africa is rated PG-13 for one sensuous scene and for the scenes of the dead animals which younger viewers may find disturbing.
I Dreamed of Africa can be purchased at Amazon.com in VHS and DVD format.
My ticket for this movie was purchased by me with my own funds.