Story – Abdul Salam Mumuni
Screenplay – Phil Efe Bernard
Director – Frank Rajah Arase
TEARS OF WOMANHOOD
Psalm Adjefeto – Daniel
Naana Hayford-Domfeh – Tessy
Kalsonme Senare – Sienna
Jackie Appiah – Samira
Majid Michel – Dennis
Eddie Nartey – David
Yvonne Nelson – Khadija
Elezra Ofori – Sonia
Vicky Zugah – Rachel
Themes the Film Covers
Status and Class
My Rating 77%
The film opens with a son throwing a birthday party for his father. The son, David gives a speech on how wonderful his father is and how blessed he is to have such a gather before opening up the floor to allow other to contribute to his praising. Samira, niece to his mother’s housemaid steps in and gives a passionate and animated speech ending in rapturous applause by the other partygoers.
The father is not even aware of who Samira is and leans into his wife and whispers,
“Who is she?”
The girl’s aunt has worked with the family since their children were small and he does not know who she is despite the fact that she would have been in his house many times. This just shows the mental gulf between the classes that the man of the house will not even acknowledge those he deems beneath him.
It only takes this one occasion for David to fall hopelessly in love with Samira and they eventually begin dating. When he asks for his father’s blessing he is completely stunned to discover that not only does his father refuse to give his blessing, he also disowns him and shuns him from the family home. He cannot accept that the girl is of a lower social class and a Muslim.
Religion and social class are barriers and despite the mother being open to Samira being her daughter in law, her husband’s word is final in the patriarchal society she belongs to. He also has the authority to ban Zena the maid from praying in the house despite his wife permitting it previously. He is also begged by his wife to go to Zena’s daughter’s wedding and outright refuses deeming the attendance of such a low class wedding beneath him and sending his son instead.
When David is shunned from the house he and Zena have no other choice but to relocate and take Zena with them at David’s mother’s insistence. We see David’s mother finding it hard to cope with the situation that she has been put in. Losing her son and long term maid and friend as well as having a voice that she is not allowed to use. At one point she questions her husband,
“Are men made for principles and culture or are principles and culture made for men?”
She is making the point that there is no use on holding onto principles and a culture that do not enrich your life; those that you do not necessarily believe in but blindly follow because of tradition. She has a fair point but her husband does not agree with her speaking out of place and whacks her in the face. A poignant moment follows. She is dignified in the face of such unnecessary brute force, simply saying to him,
“You have failed.”
In the home of David and Samira we see “Princess Tyra” back again as Zena’s daughter a wayward college girl called Khadija. She is one of the hot girls on campus and a new guy on the scene is trying to pursue her. A guy called Dennis played by Michael Majid. He has an array of lame chat up lines that as pathetic as they are soon draw Khadija in. One minute she cannot stand him and the next they are bosom buddies. I found the build up of the relationship and little too unbelievable.
Dennis ends up in a coma after protecting Khadija in a fight and it is through this awful event that the family is reunited again. I could not stop laughing when I saw him lying in the hospital bed with a bandage wrapped around his waist like a hula hoop on a belly dancer. What were the filmmakers thinking?
It turns out the Dennis is David’s long lost brother and because his mother comes to visit Dennis in the coma the family comes together, however the father is still harbouring ill will and will not claim David as his son. It is only much later at their grandmother’s funeral that he puts their differences aside and embraces him literally and figuratively.
NB… Didn’t David look like a damned fool turning up to his grandma’s funeral in white moon glasses, and Samira in her dotted shawl and striped skirt looked absolutely ridiculous!