Escapism (Armchair Travel!)

Escapism (Armchair Travel!)

Quarantine - it's a weird word. It reminds me of some archaic circumstances, like when immigrants arriving in new lands from the old world with just a suitcase had to be "quarantined" in places such as Ellis or Angel Islands.   And suddenly, just like that, in 2020, we find ourselves quarantined and in isolation from others, in case we are a carrier, or we contract the disease.  

But this time, it's different because it's not just my fellow passengers from a sailing ship who I am in quarantine with  - I am in quarantine with the rest of the world.  And it's not just people we are isolated from, but also services and many suppliers we just take for granted.  For example travel;  I often question what will travel look like once this is all over?

I love learning about other cultures, and there is still a long unchecked portion of my bucket list yet to visit. So maybe today, I thought maybe we could transport you to Africa!  Why not?

OK - so this is not a tease. We're calling this escapism. Armchair travel can be a great way to remind yourself of what a beautiful, amazing world it is we inhabit.  That there is another world outside the walls of our living room, and ultimately this too shall pass, and we will soon be back to normality.

Movies can fly us to faraway lands, fill us with an adventurous spirit, and make the world seem a little bit more accessible – for a little while, at least.  In all the emotional upheaval which is affecting us all - not to mention broken travel plans for many, sometimes a little escapism is precisely what we need!⁠ .⁠ 

Here are some of the best African movies the Envirosax team has on their list:

The African Queen (1951) - one of our favorites. Kathryn Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart ⁠(actually Bogart's one and only Oscar performance).  A straight-laced missionary persuades a gin-swilling river boar captain to undertake a dangerous mission.


Born Free (1966) - the true story of Elsa the lioness and the fight to keep her from being sent to a zoo⁠.  Starring Virginia McKenna, who has since tirelessly fought to stop individual wild animals suffering and to protect threatened species with the Born Free Charity.


The God's Must Be Crazy (1980) - A comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization and its stranger aspects - At the time of release, the longest-running movie in New York. 


Out of Africa (1985) -  One of those rare gems, in which a superb cast (Robert Redford and Meryl Streep), a great director, beautiful scenic cinematography and an emotional soundtrack make for an interesting movie masterpiece. Winner of 7 Academy Awards.


Gorillas in the Mist (1988) - Especially picked for those with a Rwandan gorilla trip in mind! The true story of Dian Fossey who develops a bond with the animals. Fearing that the gorillas will go extinct if humans continue to hunt them, she organizes a defense league to protect the animals.


The Constant Gardener (2005) - Ralph Fiennes, a British diplomat and Rachel Weisz an activist for social justice move to Kenya - a bit of a twist at the end.⁠


Blood Diamond (2006) - One of the first box-office hits to bring child slavery and unethical diamond production into the limelight.⁠ Starring Leonardo DiCaprio the movie is set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999,  and shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.


The Last King of Scotland (2006) - Forest Whitaker's performance as real-life megalomaniac dictator Idi Amin ⁠is outstanding.  The story of a Scottish doctor who becomes the personal physician and close confidante of dictator Idi Amin and ultimately faces the fight of his life as he tries to escape Amin's grasp.


The First Grader (2010) - The true story of an 84-year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau freedom fighter who fights for his right to go to school for the first time. Beautiful.⁠


The Jungle Book (2016) - Just Wow. How is it possible that these creatures aren't real?  If you haven't seen the 2016 version of this children's classic, I urge you to see this one.  The computer graphics are amazing!


Enjoy xx