An escape from the sterility of Western life, a return to our most natural selves in the magnificent setting of Eritrea
A comedy suffused with alienating beauty, and a sense of poignant and ecstatic melancholy
An unusual offering from director Luigi Magni, who was more frequently involved in intelligently and skilfully bringing the comedy of bygone times of his native Rome back to life. In this film, the Eternal City is a place to be escaped from, and Catherine Spaak is magnificently ethereal in the role of the middle-class wife who discovers the attraction of a road that doesn’t lead back home. Entranced by her and a land that overwhelms with its beautiful landscapes and ability to completely redesign the priorities of life, we too may well end up being tempted by the “way of the baboons” of the title: the path across the savannah that the monkeys, when night begins to fall, cross to return to the forest, where they become their most natural selves. A film of alienating beauty, which suffuses the comedy with a sense of poignant and ecstatic melancholy.
Fiorenza is tired of her marriage to snob Orazio. She travels to Eritrea to meet her father, an old colonialist who is about to die. In Africa, she meets the extravagant Getulio, who spends his time philosophising on life and hunting an enormous crocodile. Orazio arrives in Africa to bring Fiorenza back home, but she has decided that her destiny lies elsewhere.