A Far Off Place (PG, 1993)
Disney collapses Laurens Van der Post's two excellent novels of Africa, "A Story Like the Wind" and "A Far Off Place," into this 1993 movie starring Reese Witherspoon. When poachers invade the Wildlife Commissioner's home and slaughter him and his household, only his daughter, 15-year old Nonnie (Witherspoon), and a visiting New York prep-school boy named Harry Winslow (Ethan Randall) escape. With killers on their trail and more than 1,200 miles (1,931 kilometers) of desert separating them from sanctuary, the feuding teens must work together to survive. Harry's humor and Nonnie's stubbornness help keep them going, but it's Nonnie's friend, Xhabbo (Sarel Bok), a young bushman, who teaches them the skills they need to survive, guiding them on their long journey. The opening scenes are violent, but they succinctly illustrate the wanton destruction poachers engage in and set the stage for the conflict.