I saw this movie last night and it still resonates powerfully with me a day later. The story of a Nigerian immigrant newlywed couple and their travails in getting pregnant, there are five things that set that distinguish this film and make it so worth watching: - The lead performances are exceptional. The Cesar winning actor Issach De Bankolé is always good and his wife, played by American-Zimbabwean Danai Gurira, is pitch perfect as a tradition-bound young woman struggling to balance custom and familial obligation with a new country/culture and her own budding ambitions.
- The pacing of the film is mannered and deliberative, giving the audience a chance to take in the consuming nature of the couple's struggle to have a baby. More European than Hollywood in its timing, the pacing works especially as an antidote to the rapid paced Nollywood films covering similar ground.
- The use of color in the film, both through cinematography and wardrobe, is both stunning and meaningful. The colors correspond to the Orishas or Youban Gods that slyly provide a subtext and foreshadowing of plot that may be unfamiliar to American audiences, but clever and refreshing to any who have been exposed to the Afro-Caribbean religions for which they are central. Just as Orisha symbols has long been integrated into Catholicism and mainstream culture in places like the Dominican Republic and Cuba (for example, it's the bases of the colorful costumes used by showcases at Havana's Tropicana -- the archetype and bases for Las Vegas), they are hidden in plain sight in this film. It's a wonderful added dimension to the film.
- The characters are beautifully realized. The husband's mother, brother, and brother's girl friend are all complicit in the wife's struggles to have a child and each have their own complex character strengths and flaws. While the dialogue is a bit fallow in places, the characters themselves are not.
- The sexuality of the film was portrayed in capturing a range of emotions -- from martial obligation, to lust and true love. Rarely do we get to see such a range in a film, and rarer still is it captured in a movie by and about Black characters.
Definitely worth seeing.