A girl, Carola, whose vacation in Kenya takes an interesting turn when she becomes infatuated with a Masai. Carola decides to leave her boyfriend to stay with her lover. There, she has to ...
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A girl, Carola, whose vacation in Kenya takes an interesting turn when she becomes infatuated with a Masai. Carola decides to leave her boyfriend to stay with her lover. There, she has to adapt to the Masai's way of life and get used to their food which includes milk mixed with blood. She also has to face her husband's attitude towards women and what he expects from a wife. Nonetheless, Carola is welcomed warmly into the tribe she has chosen to join. Written by
Excellent movie; just received a standing ovation at its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Good old-fashioned story-telling with the drama of severe to the point of seemingly unsurmountable cultural conflict wrought out by strong acting from the relatively unknown leads.
When Carola, a Swiss woman (as pale,willowy and Teutonic as they make them) vacationing with her boyfriend Stefan, is smitten at first sight with Lemalian, a Masai warrior, she decides to follow her heart.
As a viewer, one feels part of the scene, drawn into Carola's frame of mind, experiencing her alternate euphoric connection with Lemalian and the strain of coming to terms with a culture, and indeed, even a man, who, despite their love, is unlike what she is accustomed to.
(A warning for the squeamish: there are several scenes of traditional Masai customs that, while not brutal, will at least make you cringe and avert.)
The film is based on an autobiographical book that was a huge bestseller in Europe. While I haven't read the book and cannot vouch for the film's accuracy, its realistic tone is never in doubt. There are no saccharine contrivances about the culture gap or simplistic portrayals or any other false notes.
In fact between the taut performances, sweeping cinematography of the Kenyan countryside, keenly observed detail of daily life and the pitch-perfect score, The White Masai almost has an epic feel to it.
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