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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mother of George: My Review






Danai Gurira is best known as the brooding samurai Michonne on AMC's The Walking Dead, but what a lot of people don't know is that she is also an award winning playwright and the star of the critically acclaimed independent feature Mother of George.

Mother of George (directed by Andrew Dosunmu) is the story of married couple Ayodele and Adenike whose infertility struggles lead Adenike down a path from which there is no return, thanks to an idea planted by an overly interfering mother in law.

The film started off slow but soon picked up especially when a plan for conception is broached by Ma Ayo which completely shocked me considering how extreme it was. For someone who considers herself a modern woman, I for one could not grasp how much nagging Adenike took from Ma Ayo in regards to her getting pregnant.  Someone like me (with all respect) would've told the old lady to kick rocks, but I guess things are different in Nigerian culture. Ayodele's attitude also left a lot to be desired considering his reluctance to see a fertility specialist. I mean what man would refuse his wife who was so obviously desperate at that point to have his kid, but I guess the Nigerian male ego is a lot more fragile than most.

The ensemble as a whole are all good, but Danai's performance showed that there's more to her than the sword wielding uber intense Michonne that we welcome into our homes every Sunday night. I'm looking forward to other outside projects from her.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Belle: My Review

When I first saw the trailer for Belle months ago I knew that it was a special film. Yes it still dealt with the issue of slavery, but this time it was on a different scale. Belle was based on the true story of mixed race Dido Elizabeth Belle, the love child of Sir John Lindsey and a slave woman by the name of Maria Belle. Dido goes to live with John's uncle,William Murray, the 1st Earl of Mansfield at Kenwood House and is raised as part of the family. Yes there are restrictions such as being hidden away when company comes over, but compared to most people of color in those days, Belle was quite fortunate.

I never knew Dido's story, but it made for an interesting and well acted film. Amma Asante and her leading lady Gugu Mbatha-Raw are causing quite a stir with this indie which is garnering major praise from critics and audiences. When I went to a screening of it at Tara Cinema here in Atlanta over Mother's Day weekend, the film received applause from the audience at the end which is proof that it's touching a chord with moviegoers from all demographics. One entertainment program even touted Gugu as a breakout star in the vein of Lupita Nyong'o, and Asante is definitely a director to keep an eye on. Female directors are already a rarity and female directors of color are even rarer.  If Asante's big screen debut is any indication, I am predicting that she should purchase a trophy case for the Oscars and Golden Globes that will one day be coming her way.