5 February 2014 | MartinHafer
"Mother of George" is a film with a strong and interesting cross-cultural message. It's also a film that would probably be seen as a feminist movie--though it is something that can be enjoyed, or at least appreciated, by all.
The film begins with a wedding--and what a beautiful wedding it is. The guests are all Nigerian Americans and they are dressed in their finest and most color clothing. During the course of the wedding (which takes up a significant part of the film), the new wife, Nike (Danai Gurira) is told again and again how important it is that she have a baby boy as soon as possible. Culturally, there is a HUGE amount of pressure on her--and it's pretty obvious at this point that Nike will have difficulty conceiving. This is made so much worse by her mother-in-law--a very traditional African mother who insists that Nike either become pregnant or her son find another wife! While Ayo (Isaach De Bankolé) is not about to get another wife, he also is bound by masculine expectations and he forbids his wife to get infertility testing and he adamantly refuses to have himself tested. What is poor Nike to do? Well, when she listens to her mother-in-law's plan, it throws her for a loop.
This film has a lot to say. Yet, interestingly, it DIDN'T have a lot of dialog and managed to say a lot without words. Its theme of women as baby machines and their devaluation by societies is hard-hitting and sad. Equally sad is its way that men are trapped by their machismo. There's a lot to this film--and one that, in some ways, cuts across all cultures. Well worth seeing.