Saturday, 2 March 2013

Mothers and malaria

When I got home yesterday evening after giving a talk, I switched on the TV while having some supper, to find "Mary and Martha". I had read a little about a Rednose Day film about two mothers whose sons died of malaria, and nearly switched over, fearing it might be too heavy or slushy or both. I was very wrong. 
Immediately the brilliant acting of Hilary Swank, mother of a young boy, and Brenda Blethyn, mother of an older son in his early twenties, drew me into this great drama. Locations in Africa and America were beautifully filmed, music is used very appropriately, but it was the humanity of grieving mothers that grabbed me, particularly that of Hilary Swank in the hospital in Mozambique. 
Slowly we learn of the enormous scale of children's deaths from malaria. The two mothers bond together, marital difficulties are encountered, and in the end together they make a difference. Blethyn ends their pleas to the Senate Committee, with photos of children victims of theh disease laid out,: "Would you like us to make an appointment to come back next year. and bring another half million photographs?" 
We can make changes in our lives and in our world. Fr M approves bigtime. Catch this excellent film on iPlayer here

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