Friday, February 19, 2021

Speaking Of Nigerians

 Since Western movies are getting worse and worse, I turned to non-Western sources and recently watched a Nigerian 2016 film called Childless Wife But I Love Her

Based on the name, you'll probably think that it is a melodrama, but in reality, it's a HORROR movie (or a mini-series, to be more precise), with some soapy elements.

The story goes as follows: the chief character Chibuzor and his wife Mirabel have been married for 6 years but have no kids still. While Chibuzor keeps hoping it will happen some day, his mother isn't so optimistic. She is mocked by other women in her village for having no grandkids. 

About the same time, Chibuzor, who has a well-paying job in town, buys a new house and his mother comes to visit. She tells him Mirabel can't get pregnant because she sold her uterus to the Devil for the powers of witchcraft. Her son doesn't believe her, but at the same time Mirabel starts behaving very strangely and claims their villa is haunted, which makes him change his mind. 

The marriage deteriorates further because Chibuzor is being pursued by his colleague and ex-mistress Sophy, but when he becomes dangerously sick, it's up to his wife and his best friend to solve the mystery surrounding the villa in order to save his life...

As you see, there is quite a lot of content here to unpack. In the beginning it's rather boring and soapy, but as the action keeps developing, it gets really thrilling so that I stayed glued and watched it all in one day (its like 3 hours long).  The main drawback was a s*x scene. Though there was no apparent nudity, it was somewhat too realistic to my taste, and some other things were borderline, too. The acting was not always up-to-date, but the mother-in-law was superb. You did want to slap her at times (many times, actually:).

On the positive side, the film gives a glimpse into a very different culture which is still very patriarchal. The wife, for instance, instead of running straight into a divorce court, is trying to win her husband back. She refuses to take revenge, saying that her God will fight for her. Religion, in this case, Catholicism, is given a very prominent place in the movie and shown a lot of respect. There is also a positive depiction of housewives.

Another thing I found interesting, were clothes. While at home, Mirabel is wearing a short skirt, but for official occasions, she changes into long formal skirts/dresses, and when going to church, adds a veil, which is unthinkable for many Western women. 

The lesson of the story is quite straightforward, the end doesn't justify the means; and if you sell you soul for worldly goods, you will pay a high price, but repentance is still possible for everyone and faith triumphs over evil. 

So would I recommend this movie? I will admit I'm not entirely comfortable with horror as genre and this film is not an exception. I'm not sure Christians should be busy with things like sorcery and witchcraft, even though I did watch it. If you are OK with it, then you can give it a try.

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