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The Boston Globe

Travel

Lights, cameras, the world: movies that take us places

This evocative 1985 award-winning film, shot on location near the Ngong Hills outside Nairobi, presented Kenya in such beautiful, lush detail that even today travelers seek to revisit its most memorable moments. The grandeur of the landscape, the graciousness and beauty of the people (descendants of the Kikuyu tribe), the magnificence and power of the herds of wildlife crossing the savannah, are lovingly revealed by cinematographer David Watkin’s stunning, slow-moving photography. The scenery is so vivid and compelling that Africa itself becomes a character. Adapted from Karen Blixen’s classic book, the romantic drama told the story of Blixen’s life in colonial Kenya. Meryl Streep played the leading role, and Robert Redford played Denys Finch-Hatton, her lover. It is a story not only of Blixen’s love for the fiercely-independent Finch-Hatton but also of her love for Africa. The box office hit won seven Academy Awards and lured travelers worldwide to the land that Blixen loved.

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