Mother of George
By azuspeak With on February 10, 2013

Mother of George is a visually stunning film that deals with issues of cultural identity and the value placed on tradition and family systems. The film centers around Ayodele and Adenike, a recently married Nigerian couple who move to Brooklyn, NY to start a life of their own. To their dismay, they discover that they are having difficulty conceiving a child, despite the family expectations that they would have children right away. This causes strain in the marriage and in their extended family systems. While the film focuses on the relationship between the couple, Mother of George addresses the complications that arise when someone makes a decision to step away from culture, yet culture itself keeps pulling them back into old ways of thinking. As I think about my own journey as an African American woman, I relate to this struggle in terms of wanting to identify and preserve my rich culture, yet realizing that sometimes the influences within my culture are giving the wrong advice for my life. I even struggle with this as a Christian, wanting to respect the tradition of my faith, yet knowing that some tragic things have happened in history due to this very tradition and that there have been way too many instances where Christians have been on the wrong side of the issues. These ideas assign new meanings to the word honor. When the Bible says to “Honor your mother and your father,” whether we think of mother and father in a literal, familial sense or in a communal sense, does it mean do everything they say? Or does it mean to show respect? And how can we respect who they are, but reject what they have taught? All too often, when we discover new ways of thinking that differ from our culture or background, we have a tendency to downplay the significance of our past, when in actuality our past has helped create who we are, good and bad. I’m not so sure that forging a new self void of a historical past is the answer. It is important to incorporate our past into our present experiences. For Adenike, that was not the case. She went with the bad advice of her culture, in this case her mother-in-law, and it ended up jeopardizing her marriage and the future of their family.

About the Author: azuspeak
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