AFI Fest 2013
By Don Simpson | November 13, 2013
Director: Chika Anadu
Writer: Chika Anadu
Starring: Uche Nwadili, Ngozi Nwaneto, Nonso Odogwu, Frances Okeke
Amake (Uche Nwadili) is an admirably strong, independent and intelligent 39-year-old Nigerian woman. She runs a successful business and her husband Nonso (Nonso Odogwu) is a “modern” man who loves and respects her. Together, Amake and Nonso are financially secure enough to afford anything that they need; but despite their affluence and progressive opinions, Amake and Nonso still feel tremendous social pressure about not having a male heir to their family’s name. That heightened pressure is certainly not healthy for a woman who is at risk of encountering difficulties with pregnancy because of her age.
At the onset of Chika Anadu’s B for Boy, Amake has just reached the third trimester of her pregnancy. She refuses to allow the doctors to tell her the sex of the baby, partly out of fear and partly out of stubburn refusal to comply with societies’ wishes. Amake is perfectly content with their 7-year-old daughter and would not mind another female child. It seems the only reason Nonso wants a son is to appease his boy-crazy family, led by the unyielding pressure of the matriarch (Ngozi Nwaneto), because Nonso is the only male of his family with the chance of fathering a male heir.
Without giving too much away, it is safe to say that B for Boy is about Amake’s struggle to continue to live a happy and fruitful life with Nonso; it is also about the struggle of women, no matter how wealthy, to live within the confines of a patriarchal society. All of the money in the world cannot seem to buy Amake the freedom of choice. The pressure on Amake increases every day as Amake’s anticipated birthing date rapidly approaches. Backed into a proverbial corner, Amake only wants to come out of this situation with Nonso still on her side.
While it may seem like B for Boy and Mother of George share some common themes, the two films are decidedly different. Viewed in tandem, however, the two films give us a better understanding of just how ingrained this problem still is, even in this modern age. B for Boy shows us that no matter what one’s economic or social status, this deep rooted historical mindset still controls Nigerian women; in many ways, Mother of George is even more horrific, since it reveals that this backwards mindset seems to know no continental borders.