Sunday, August 06, 2006

The White Masai

Reading the synopsis of this film, it sounded deeply romantic -Swiss girl holidaying in Kenya meets a Masai warrior and on impulse decides not to return to Switzerland with her current boyfriend but to stay and pursue the warrior - all the way to his traditional Masai village. It sounded improbable as well as romantic but since it's a true story it seemed intriguing enough to be worth watching. It is worth watching but for me the ending was so unromantic and so unexpected I was just shocked.

The Masai warrior (Lemalian) is the most beautiful man you can imagine, and Carola the swiss girl is beautiful too, though her behaviour gradually lessens her appeal (for me, anyway) as the film progresses. Carola takes up residence in the village, seemingly manages to deal with the myriad of cultural and logistical problems a european would face in doing such a thing, marries her warrior, opens a shop, has a baby and then they don't live happily ever after because she takes the child (who is then about 3) to Switzerland on the pretext of going on holiday and the credits roll as some text tells you she never returns.

I guess since they didn't discuss things like how their cultural differences affected the way they behaved faced with certain scenarios ( like giving relatives credit in the shop and having eye contact with men you aren't having sex with) you could conclude that their relationship was always going to founder, but it survived so much for so long I was disappointed that she killed it off. And I was disappointed that she didn't feel that she should modify her behaviour or her beliefs to help her fit into the exotic location she'd chosen. I guess its the disappointment you feel when you thought you were going to see a romance, and it ends up being a documentary.
Ian’s Rating: 2.5/5
Anne’s Rating: 3/5

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