Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our Moveable Feast goes to the movies

Part 3 of a series of 4

"Out of Africa" is one of the featured great books which became great movies at "Our Moveable Feast Presents: The Last Picture Show," an evening of fantasy and great cuisine at the Community Library on Sunday, March 11, starting at 5:30 p.m. Organizer Peggy Goldwyn provides this thumbnail of the story as related to her by Anna Cataldi, the Italian journalist who was instrumental in bringing the book to Hollywood's attention. The film will be shown, free, at The Screening Rooms in Ketchum on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. Tickets for "Our Moveable Feast" are available starting at $125 per person by visiting the library online at or by calling 726-7355, ext. 105.

The tumultuous love story between the baroness owner of an African coffee farm, Karen Blixen, portrayed by Meryl Streep, and a nomadic big-game hunter named Denys Finch Hatton, played by Robert Redford, in the Academy Award-winning film could not have been made without a chance meeting over a less well-known biography.


"Out of Africa" was written by Blixen and published in 1937 under the name Isak Dinesen. In it, her relationship with Hatton was downplayed as merely a friendship.

The story that unfolded on the screen was hatched shortly after Anna Cataldi, an Italian journalist and human rights activist met Blixen 40 years later and took her book, "Out of Africa," with her on a trip to the Sudan.

Cataldi encountered a traveler reading a book titled "Silence Will Speak: A Study of the Life of Denys Finch Hatton and His Relationship With Karen Blixen," which was written by Kenyan Errol Trzebinski.

Captivated by the versions of the adventure-laden story, and with Trzebinski's story revealing a romance that Blixen's had protected as merely a friendship in her book, Cataldi bought the rights to his book and eventually joined forces with director Sidney Pollack to produce the film.

The film would garner seven Academy Awards.

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