Out of Africa
- 2 hr 40 min
Sydney Pollack’s multi-award winning movie, Out of Africa, is a timeless romantic drama starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford as friends and lovers. The story loosely follows the narrative set down in Danish writer Karen Dinesen’s autobiographical work of the same name. At the outset of the story we find Ms. Dinesen, played by Meryl Streep, preparing to go to Africa in order to purchase and run a dairy farm. Given that in the early 20th century this would be a difficult task, at best, to accomplish for a single woman, she becomes a baroness by agreeing to a marriage of convenience to Baron Bror Blixen; she is wealthy, and he is broke and given to dissolution. Once in Africa, Karen is disturbed to learn that Bror has bought a coffee plantation rather than the agreed-upon dairy farm. To make matters worse, he is unwilling to help in the day-to-day business of running the plantation, preferring to pursue his ambition to be a big-game hunter and a chronic philanderer. It is at this time, as she struggles to keep the plantation together, that Karen meets another big-game hunter, Denys Finch Hatton (Redford), and they fall in love. When she learns of Bror’s infidelities by way of his giving her syphilis, she asks that he leave the house, and he complies. Karen and Denys are then free to pursue their affair. There is no happily-ever-after, however, as Karen soon wants more of Denys and asks him to move in with her. To the independent, free-spirited Denys, this is tantamount to putting a leash around his neck, and he’ll have none of it, which ultimately is tragic for both. It is apparent that there is a genuine love and affection between them that is played out with the lush, stunning scenery of British East Africa as a backdrop. Out of Africa is not only the story of the sometimes difficult relationship between two people, but of the equally uneasy relationship between colonists and native peoples.