When cultural values and expectations are slavishly upheld but not adhered to, there’s a good chance, out of desperation, that deceit will worm its way into the proceedings.
That’s the situation Adenike (Danai Gurira) must maneuver in Mother of George, directed by Andrew Dosunmu.
Adenike, a Yoruban immigrant, has married Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé), the Yoruban owner and chief cook at a family-run restaurant who’s part of a traditional Yaruban family. How traditional? At their wedding, the elders make it clear that the first goal of the union is to produce a son, who will be named George.
Nothing about future progeny should be left to chance so, as the months go by, Adenike is intrusively monitored by the family’s reigning matriarch, her mother-in-law (Bukky Ajayi). Herbal medicinal teas and visits to a traditional healer become part of the regimen. Adhering to Saturnine rules of the culture to create a child – symbolically the Moon – is all that matters.
After a year-and-a-half of trying, Adenike still hasn’t gotten pregnant. She visits a fertility specialist and is eager for medical tests to reveal why she can’t conceive. Her husband Ayodele refuses to go, and so his mother proposes an end-justifies-the-means solution to Adenike. That’s where Neptunian deceit enters the fray, which also involves Ayodele’s brother Biyi (Anthony Okungbowa) and his girlfriend Sade (Yaya DaCosta Alafia).
The twist in Mother of George is that, under such circumstances, a child becomes a Saturnine obligation, a fate which, in this case, is certainly more insidious than childlessness. Desperately juggling these two options and their consequences, Adenike is heart-breaking.
Astrology Film Rating: ☽♄ (Moon, Saturn)