In 1914 Karen Blixen went to Kenya to run a coffee farm; its failure in 1931 caused her to return to Denmark where she wrote this classic account of her experiences. A poignant farewell to her beloved farm, this work describes her friendships and her affection for the animals and landscape.
Out of Africa 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 a aloof man – and doubly unhappy for living out such a cliché situation. Although Redford received a lion's share of criticism for his too-American performance, Streep has rarely been better, and the film's perfectly measured pace is offset by David Watkin's stunning location photography.