Originally uploaded by NollywoodForever
Through The Fire ~ 2009
(Continuation called Entanglement)
Story – Uduak Isong Oguamanam
Screenplay – Uduak Isong Oguamanam, Emem ISong, Omoni Oboli
Director – Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Uche Jombo – Tega
Mercy Johnson – Chidera
Yemi Blaq – Patrick
Omoni Oboli – Gertrude
Kalu Ikeagwu – Pastor
Francis Duru – Deacon Gabriel
Desmond Elliot – Aniete
Ngozi Ezeonu – Gertrude’s mum
Rukky Sanda – Bimbola
Whoba Ogo – Esosa
Lyon Tita – Cathy
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen – Pastor Osagie
My Rating – 73%
We see the relationships between three friends as well as their additional romantic relationships. Tega is in a marriage where being beaten and raped by her husband is a regular occurrence. He actually seems to derive pleasure from his horrific acts of violence and verbal abuse. Gertrude is about to wed a man that appears to be the perfect match on paper but that she is not actually in love with. Chidera is desperate to get married but chronically single, and has been so for 3 years. She seems only to be able to attract married men, which her friend Gertrude thinks is inevitable considering her skimpy dress.
Family play a big role in the pressure a woman feels to get married. We see Gertrude’s mum lay the pressure on thick for her to marry Patrick, even though she can sense that her daughter has doubts about the relationship. She tells her,
“Do you remember Mrs Fela’s daughter? She is 37 and not married. Will career produce the cry of a baby?”
Children and family is a big part of African culture hence it being the central theme in many Nollywood movies. I’d love to see a movie where a woman actually stood up and said she didn’t want to have children, and even better where she was married to a man that had no desire to be a father either. Now that would be interesting. No doubt they would have had to have lived abroad for the African audience to be able to relate.
Gertrude tells her mother that she and Patrick “are not ready” to marry and her mother is adamant that that, it is not in a man’s place to be ready, it’s a woman’s place.”
Gertrude does not even want to kiss her fiancé Patrick. He says he just wants to hold her and the woman is screaming “blood of Jesus” It seemed to be she was using the whole not wanting to have sex before marriage thing as a crutch to not be close to him at all. Isn’t it funny how she hugged Aniete with ease when she went to go and look at his new place? Religion is used in the movie as well as a justification for staying in a bad marriage. Tega does not want to divorce because of her commitment to following the tenets of Christianity.
Tega is torn and she tells Chidera,
“I know the bible says we can divorce on grounds on sexual immorality. That is why I am confused.”
She is taking the bible to literally to the extent that she is not considering her own welfare and happiness because she cannot find something relating directly to domestic violence and marriage in the bible.
Rape is rape Marriage or no marriage. No is no. A woman should always have the right to say no to sex, regardless of whether she has previously had consensual sex with the man or not. Forced intercourse within marriage or a relationship is still rape. In Entanglement the continuation of Through the Fire we see Gertrude going through feelings of immense guilt over her rape. We also see Tega stay with her husband because he is her husband and thereforew she does not see his actions as rape.
Societal pressure is massive especially for a woman of a certain age to get married we see this especially when Chidera confronts Gabriel about promising to marry her. She seems upset that she has been used as a plaything. Honey what did you expect? HE is your friend’s husband? How did you think he would respect you let alone wish to marry you? It is also inconceivable to me that Chidera would even want Gabriel to marry her considering the fact that she KNOWS how he has battered her friend. Is this what pressure can do to a woman? Make her so desperate that she will go to any length so becomes a MRS even if it means betraying loyalties and living a life full of abuse?
We know that she knows the full extent of the abuse because she tells Tega at one point,
“Divorce the bagga! Divorce him before he kills you.”
She is advocating divorce yet quick to jump into bed with the same man.
Love and Friendship
Was Gertrude wrong for spending so much time with Aniete? Can men and women be platonic friends? Would her behaviour have been appropriate for a married woman? It is clear that Patrick is the wrong guy for her regardless of his credentials. We can see how uncomfortable she is around him in comparison to her comfortableness around Aniete. It is clear to the viewer that Aniete and Gertrude would be the perfect match. In fact it is frustrating watching the two of them get along so well but not come to the realisation that they are made for each other! You can imagine my joy in Entanglement when Aniete declares his love for her. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. I wanted to cheer… well until Gertrude turns him down. That then turned into wanting to slap her. Nevertheless the right result came about in the end.
I would recommend this movie. Mercy was fire. She was razz she was flirtatious, she really shone. I thought the cast were well picked and the story flowed. Important issues were raised and explored. However in the continuation Entanglement I was disappointed that we didn’t see Tega, her husband and the pastor again. I also didn’t like the whole HIV storyline and the whole if you believe you can be delivered from HIV aspect. I found this to be quite irresponsible and disturbing. Yes faith can help you thorough moments of darkness, but leaving it to God to cure HIV and not taking any medicines or accepting that you have it? Naaa, not buying it! Despite its flaws it was enjoyable to watch. THUMBS UP!