A FAR OFF PLACE
DIRECTOR: Mikael Solomon
COUNTRY: USA 1993
CINEMATOGRAPHY: JUAN RUIZ-ANCHIA
MUSIC: JAMES HORNER
CAST: Reese Witherspoon, Ethan Randall, Jack Thompson, Sarol Bok, Maximillian Shell
FEATURES: Good film even if disguised as a Disney story.
Despite the fact that Disney films usually only go for the greedy kill when it comes to the making of films, at least here is one film that is rather nice, preachy in some ways, but still very dedicated to a worthwhile cause.....that bucks the general trend.
A Far Off Place is about a young man that gets caught up in the middle of a war on the ivory in Africa. While being out in the country with the new friend he has just made, both their families get exterminated by a band of thieves, so it seems, when in all actuality they were erased by a mob that is defiant about its stand on the illegal trade of the massive elephant's ivory.
In the process, the two get taken up by an aborigine, African variety -- what are they doing here anyway...??? -- that pretty much leads them to freedom and the eventual downfall of the ivory baron and his control of the whole area.
And while the film starts with the type of relationship that two teenagers are believed to have, none to speak of, but now they are forced to stick together to survive and get to their destination, the film moves along with the strength of the aborigine, that stands out as the wonderful actor and person he is. Though bit by a sand scorpion, he manages to deliver his friends to safety and ensure that the wild is preserved for his own people and the animals who also take a liking to him. In the process he shows us that the elephants are also intelligent people and that they understand when one talks to them..... a herd helps the children escape by erasing all their tracks.
This film really is more about the feudal lord systems that run much of Africa than anything else, and the white man has become the greedy devil which we hope is finally ending, although the underground war against the poachers is still gigantic.... this type of film should help one become aware of it.
Excellent film, and enjoyable at every moment with very good acting and a tremendous story. Brutal as only the jungle can be in places, although it is the survival that matters in this case.
4 of 5 GIBLOONS
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