Laurens Van der Post’s books A Far Off Place and A Story Like The Wind were turned into this moving and beautifully filmed kids-in-peril adventure set in Africa. Game warden’s daughter Nonnie (Witherspoon) and sulky Harry (Embry) see their parents massacred by poachers, and so team up to trek over 1000 miles across the Kalahari desert with the help of a young bushman. There’s a bad guy in hot pursuit who wants them dead as they are the only witnesses to the murders, but the movie is really about the kids learning about their surroundings and the magic that their bush guide Xhabbo brings to the journey.
While fans of the books may be annoyed that the stories’ hero has morphed from a boy into a then 14-year-old Witherspoon, this otherwise remains pretty true to the tales, which does mean that it is violent in places – a herd of elephants are killed for their tusks which are hacked off with chainsaws, for example – and not suitable for younger or sensitive viewers.
Is A Far Off Place suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger viewers will be upset by the death of the parents (though it is not shown) and scared when the kids are in peril during the film.