Directed and adapted by Caroline Link from Stephanie Zweig’s autobiographical novel of the same name, Nowhere in Africa tells the story of a well-to-do German Jewish family who flee the Nazis by going to live and work on a farm in rural Kenya.
A successful lawyer in his former life, Walter Redlich (Merab Ninidze) throws himself into his new role as farm manager, which involves much toil for little pay. Courteous and friendly, he quickly gains the locals’ respect. Not so his beautiful, snobbish wife Jettel (Juliane Köhler), who makes no effort to hide her contempt for Kenya and its backward ways. She treats the farm cook, Owuor (Sidede Onyulo), like a servant when he sees himself as a professional, and insults him by asking him to carry water, a job reserved for women in his tribe.