The latest film from director Caroline Link follows a young Jewish family from Germany to Kenya as they flee the Nazi regime at the onset of World War II. Far from being yet another war epic, this adaptation of Stefanie Zweig's autobiographical novel deals primarily with the trials and triumphs of starting a new life in a foreign land. As young Regina (played by Lea Kurka and Karoline Eckertz) grows up in the company of the Pokot tribe, her parents Jettel (Juliane Köhler) and Walter (Merab Ninidze) must learn to cope with their waning love for one another and the fact that they may never see their families again.

That the movie focuses mainly on the characters rather than the war gives this story its strength. Kurka and Eckertz both give skillful performances as Regina in her respective stages of adolescence. The character comes off as being not only blissfully innocent but fiercely intelligent. When the Pokot children teach her how to warm her feet in cow dung, or when she gathers everyone around for a story about angels, you can't help but wonder whether the tribe still talks about Stefanie Zweig so many years later. Likewise, when she debates with her tribal boyfriend about whether she should remove her blouse in order to more freely climb a tree (the way any Pokot teenager might do), we're presented with a clever example of culture clash.

Continue reading: Nowhere in Africa Review