The White Masai

Poster for The White Masai

Autumn 2007 Main series

Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 4:00pm
Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 7:00pm
Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 7:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Hermine Huntgeburth

Starring Nina Hoss, Jacky Ido, Janek Rieke, Antonio Prester, and Katja Flint

Rated 18A · 2h 11m
German, Swahili, and English

The White Masai, which was a Gala presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2005, will carry you away on an epic journey. At once a captivating romance and a breathtaking travelogue into the Kenyan outback, the film is based on the bestselling autobiography by Corinne Hofmann, and tells the unbelievable — yet true — fish-out-of-water tale of a white European woman who becomes the wife of a Masai warrior. The exotic urban jungle of Mombasa — where the two fall in love — and the tiny village surrounded by majestic landscapes where they make their home provide a backdrop that is nothing short of extraordinary.

Carola (Nina Hoss, who won the Bavarian Film Award for Best Actress for this performance) had intended to vacation on the stunning white sand beaches of Kenya with her boyfriend Stefan (Janek Rieke) for only two weeks. Her plans change dramatically when she meets Lemalian (Jacky Ido), a handsome Masai warrior dressed in his traditional tribal garb. Soon she breaks things off with Stefan and resolves to stay with Lemalian for good despite their seemingly insurmountable cultural differences, the many bureaucratic hurdles thrown in her way and the diseases against which Carola has not been immunized. Barely able to communicate with her new love, this yuppie-ish Swiss businesswoman moves to the bush to live with Lemalian and his tribe. When Carola starts a grocery store, buys a car and struggles to adapt to this radically new environment, it looks like their relationship may triumph against adversity. But can it truly flourish in the face of this cataclysmic culture clash?

The White Masai is marked by a strong affinity between director Hermine Huntgeburth’s assured and confident directorial style and the emotional strength, vulnerability and depth of her fascinating protagonist. Huntgeburth and Hoss bring Carola to life with remarkable insight, feeling and clarity. The White Masai is a gorgeous film of incredible beauty; it will make your heart sing.