African Tale in New York
AXS ENTERTAINMENT / ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT / MOVIES
September 30, 2013
This beautiful film is a coming of age story involving a young married woman and her struggle in a patriarchal society. We begin with an African wedding complete with all the traditional colorful rituals. During this first segment of the film the screen is filled with a vibrant rainbow potpourri of magnificent colors radiating the joy of their impending union. The beautiful textures against the chocolate brown skin are so breath taking they almost make your heart stop. The groom, Blyi Balogen (Anthony Okungbowa), is dressed in a beautiful ceremonial Dashki. The bride, Adeniki Olumide Balogen (Danai Gurira), was elegantly dressed in a beautiful Ashore or Bubo dress. Her mother-in-law, Ma Ayo Balogun (Bukky Ajayi), the groom’s brother, Ayodele Balogun ( Isaach De Bankol’e) and the bride’s mother, Ma Nike (Ang’elique Kidjo), were also in attendance and beautifully dressed.
After marriage the couple will live in Brooklyn New York in an African neighborhood where they own a restaurant. The brother-in-law lives in the community with his Americanized modern thinking girlfriend Sade Bakare (Yaya Alfalfa). Sade works for the brothers at the restaurant as a prep cook. Our Bride, Adeniki stays home and keeps the apartment, cooks the meals and always making sure to take her husband his lunch. She is preparing her life as housewife and for the day she will become a mother. Meanwhile the mother-in-law is a constant presence and always asking Adeniki for updates on her pregnancy. After a time without a pregnancy Ma Ayo becomes suspicious that her new daughter-in-law is barren. It is here where old traditions and the new world thinking clash.
Adeniki begins to panic as we see just what this might mean in some African customs. We learn that there will be offspring by any means necessary in this tradition. Even though her husband Biyi has told her not to worry, she is terrified by what trouble Ma Ayo may bring to her household. Biyi insures her that he does not care if they do not have children. But Ma Ayo does not let up and continues to stress to Adeniki the importance and duty of being a wife. Finally Adeniki takes her concerns to her physician. The events that take place next are unbelieveable. This narrative won the 2013 Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic at Sundance, A joyful and empowering experience complete to the last frame. Now playing. Check your local independent theaters.
Director: Andrew Dosunmu
Writer: Darci Picoult
Stars: Isaach De Bankolé, Danai Gurira, Yaya Alafia