In our continuing series of clips from films that have influenced the writing of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT… we next move to a subsection Jackie has titled: “Movies Set in Africa starring White Women / White Women as Africans”.
First up is the 1985 classic OUT OF AFRICA which stars Meryl Streep. The film is drawn from the life and writings of Danish author Isak Dinesen, who during the time that the film’s events occured was known by her married name, Karen Blixen-Flecke. For convenience’s sake, Karen (Meryl Streep) has married Baron Bor Blixen-Flecke (Klaus Maria Brandauer). In 1914, the Baron moves himself and his wife to a plantation in Nairobi, then leaves Karen to her own devices as he returns to his womanizing and drinking. Soon, Karen has fallen in love with charming white hunter Denys Finch Hatton (Robert Redford), who prefers a no-strings relationship. A woman who prides herself on her independence, Blixen finds herself unhappily in thrall to an aloof man — and doubly unhappy for living out such a cliché situation. The movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 7, including Best Picture, Best Director for Sydney Pollack, Best Adapted Screenplay for Kurt Luedtke, and Best Cinematography for Watkin.