Based on the book of the same name, I Dreamed of Africa
is a fierce and passionate love story about the desire
to discover adventure, lose one's inhibitions and meet the challenges of life, told
against the magnificent backdrop of Africa's mythical beauty and unsolvable mystery.
The film is inspired by the true
story of the indomitable Kuki Gallmann (played by Kim Basinger), a beautiful, inquisitive
woman who had the courage to escape from her comfortable yet monotonous life in Italy to
start anew in the wilds of Africa with her son Emanuele (Liam Aiken) and her new husband
Paolo (Vincent Perez). A cattle ranch in the Lakipani region
of Kenya becomes the Gallmans' new home, far away from the creature comforts of their posh
household in Italy.
Kuki is beset with the daily challenges
of life in Africa, including harsh weather, dangerous animals, and the absence of her
husband, who spends days away hunting with his new friends. Forced to face many challenges
alone, Kuki experiences a cultural awakening, inspired by an intense and emotional
connection to the land, animals, and rhythm of Africa.
* * * * *
Praise for Perez:
San Jose Mercury News:
"Perez, known mainly to art-house audiences,
is more cosmopolitan and interesting than your average leading man."
"As Paolo, the German-Spanish Perez (Indochine,
Swept from The Sea), is all smolder and naked charm."
"Vincent Perez's darkly handsome Paolo, pulls Kuki from an idyllic
life in Veneto to the rustic, even primitive hills of Kenya...There is not a trace of
Italy in Basinger's playing of Kuki. Her acting contrasts glaringly with that of Perez, a
Swiss-born Latin lover who has worked in France and Italy."
San Antonio Express-News:
"Perez (The Crow: City of Angels) isn't always within
camera view. He does, however, convince as a part-time husband filled with
"Perez puts Paolo across with some ardor and the
cinematography by Lutic is time-stoppingly beautiful."
"Paolo Gallman (A perfectly cast Vincent Perez)."
"Perez (Indochine, Queen Margot,), often the
passionate romantic, makes some sense of a man who leaves this beautiful woman on so many
nights to hunt boar."
Palo Alto Weekly:
"Perez is easy on the eyes and the ideal physical
representation of an exotic lover."
"Vincent Perez - a very versatile actor and the film's best
"I Dreamed of Africa boasts a heartfelt,
convincing performance by Basinger, her first since her Oscar-winning turn in L.A.
Confidential and a charismatic Perez."
San Diego Union Tribune:
"The French actor Vincent Perez, as Paolo,
could get some of the impact juice from this film that Klaus Maria Brandauer did from Out
San Francisco Chronicle:
"Perez is likable as the macho Paolo."
Box Office Magazine:
"Vincent Perez is so personable as Paolo, it's
easy to understand how he earns forgiveness for his constant emotional sins, and the two
young actors who portray Kuki's son Emanuele as first a boy (Liam Aiken) and then a youth
(Garrett Strommen) have equal charm."
Rocky Mountains News:
"The charming Perez, most familiar from French movies, shows an
"Vincent Perez, who plays Basinger's safari-happy husband, is almost
as gorgeous as she, which possibly explains why he is banished to the family jeep for such
long stretches at a time."
"Perez is well cast for the women that will come to
see this film, primarily in relation to his nomination as one of People
magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People."
"French actor Perez captures the essence of European nobility."
"A terribly sexy Vincent Perez."
"The supporting players turn in fine performances - Perez is
convincing as her roguish Italian husband."
like so many great stories and good fairy tales in that it takes characters to a strange
new world, throws all sorts of obstacles at them and sees how they manage. Kuki and Paolo
are two unique characters who want to restart their lives, leave behind everything
comfortable and discover a new way, and they have the strength to follow their
"Of course, I Dreamed of Africa is about love and
adventure, but I see it as a film about cycles. There are so many endings and beginnings
for Kuki. Africa is fueled by cycles. Animals die; trees die; people die. Everything is
hopelessly brown. Then the torrential rains come and, quickly, it turns green, and there
is new life."
"It is a very moody place, and you have to learn acceptance and
humility if you are to survive there. You cannot change Africa, but it will change
Kim Basinger......Kuki Gallmann
Vincent Perez.....Paolo Gallmann
Eva Marie Saint.....Franca
Liam Aiken....young Emanuele
Garrett Strommen.....older Emanuele
Directed by.....Hugh Hudson
based on the book by
Cinematography by.....Bernard Lutic
release.....May 5, 2000
DVD release.....August 29,
April 18, 2000 - NYC
Nando Times, 7/15/98:
Kim Basinger, Vincent Perez and director Hugh Hudson are in huddles this week to work out
details of their I Dreamed of Africa film shoot. Production on the epic adventure
begins next month in Italy before moving on to the title continent. The team will be
working with wild animals - which ought to please animal activist Basinger. As far as
Perez is concerned, he says, "I'm going to start preparing myself for that
Daily Mail & Guardian, 7/23/98:
"Hluhluwe becomes Kenya in the film adaptation of I Dreamed of Africa.
Niki Barker reports a major British film company has based itself in the
safari town of Hluhluwe in northern Zululand. Hluhluwe was chosen as the location because of its close resemblance to the books
actual setting in Kenya. The South African location has the infrastructure that is lacking
in Kenya - which has also become notorious for bandit activity. KwaZulu-Natals
Lubombo mountains, from a distance, could be the hills of the Rift Valley, and the
vegetation of fever trees and savannah-type grass and scrub is authentic.
At the moment a crew of about 20 is building the sets in the tropical veld just outside
Hluhluwe. Further crew members will be arriving over the next four weeks, to start
shooting at the end of August. The full crew complement is 180, and South African film
professionals will be used extensively. Local people from the Hluhluwe area could find
jobs as set-builders, runners and extras.