Study Guide

Out of Africa Point of View

Point of View

First Person (Central Narrator)

Narrative technique is tough in film. Why? Because showing a true first-person narrative through the eyes of a single character is a good way to give your audience motion sickness. (It's been tried once or twice, notably in a detective movie called The Lady in the Lake. Epic fail.) So, on the surface, Out of Africa looks like it's third-person omniscient, since the camera moves independently of any characters and we sometimes see things that they don't.

But that's a bit of a ruse. In point of fact, we stick close to Karen for most of the movie: seeing the scenes she sees and dealing with the ocean of misfortunate as it comes rolling at her. The voice-over narration cinches it, and since this is a movie based on her own writing, it's hard to call it third-person anything despite that tricky movie camera.

We're going with first person narration; that's our story and we're sticking to it.

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