The White Masai

 
Directed by: Hermine Huntgeburth
Written by:Johannes W. Betz
Starring: Nina Hoss, Jacky Ido, Kayja Flint, Antonio Prester, Janek Rieke
Released: July 20, 2006
Grade: B

Swiss couple Carola (Hoss) and Stefan (Rieke) have travelled to Kenya for a two week holiday.  On the last day of their trip, Carola meets a Kenyan native named Lemalian (Ido).  From the moment their eyes first meet, the two develop a connection.  Within 24 hours, Carola has given up on her marriage with Stefan and gone to live with Lemalian.  She doesn’t know if it’s true love or a moment of madness.

Lemalian is from a Kenyan tribe known as the maasai.  He lives with his people in a small community which is far civilisation.  There is no electricity, no running water and little in the way of edible food.  It’s a difficult transition for Carola who has left behind a loving family and a successful job back in Switzerland.  Now, she finds herself unemployed and the only white woman in a small tribe of people who are questioning her appearance.  Can a woman give up everything in the name of love?  Only time will tell.

Based on the autobiographical novel by Corinne Hofmann, The White Masai has been brought to the screen by German director Hermine Huntgeburth.  The Kenyan landscape makes for a beautiful setting but it was a difficult shoot for the cast and crew.  They battled sweltering heat during the day and slept in small tents each night.

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to feel this way but Carola was a very annoying character.  She’s in an unfamiliar world and yet she speaks and acts as if she knows all the answers.  Carola objects to many traditions within the Masai tribe but I what right does she have to criticise?  Those who see it differently will probably enjoy the film more than I did.