Mothers and Daughters In-law Movie Goes Public

Mary Nnah

Several ladies have complained of having a problematic relationship with their mothers-in-law. While this is not the situation for all mothers and daughters-in-law relationships, it is a common enough situation, so much so that even during dating, women fear getting entangled with their to-be mothers-in-law.

However, a Nigerian movie is out to tackle such situations to the barest minimum. Titled, “Mothers and Daughters In-law”, the movie, which was premiered to a select audience recently at The Palms Cinema in Lekki, Lagos, portrays different women with different scenario and how each of them finds a way around the hurdles.

The movie, which was jam-packed with intrigues revolving around mothers and daughters in-law relationships in a typical African environment, Nigeria in particular, is hitting the cinemas today, Friday, June 7 and would be showing from to June 13, 2019 at designated cinemas across the nation.

Married for seven year with two kids, Kehinde Olorunyomi, an award-winning screenwriter, actor and director, is the writer and director of the movie, “Mothers and Daughters In-law”.

Speaking with journalists on the inspiration for the movie, she said, “I had the inspiration to write the play about five years ago when my marriage was still very young even though my own mother in-law is a unique type. I never had problems with her.

“But having heard the stories from women who have challenges with their mothers in-law and how some of these issues between them crashes the home, I decided to come up with a movie that would to a certain degree correct these problems – a play that depicts the importance of patience and how it can abate certain issues and make the relationship between mothers and daughters-in-law better.

“As a creative person, I decided to add my idea after gathering the stories from other women. So, it is about being creative and imagining that there are such characters all around.”

The core message Olorunyomi is trying to drive through this movie, she said, is to give each chance and space. “Basically, the message is to give each other a chance and space for peace to reign. Everyone is not the same, so don’t expect the other person to be you, hence the need for patience and tolerance with the understanding that the other woman’s background is different from yours”, she said.

Speaking further, she said the story is based on the typical Nigerian mother-in-law. She however added that the perception varies, but 70 per cent of daughters and mothers- in-law disagree.

“The mother-in-law should not forget a woman’s place is in her husband’s house, and so it is important for them to allow their daughters in-law run their own homes, and if there is need to correct or advice, they should do it lovingly to avoid being the cause of misunderstandings between the couple.”

She stated further that left for her, it isn’t ideal for mothers and daughters in-law to live together for a long time, because for her, space gives respect and familiarity breeds contempt. “I think it’s better and safer for mothers in-law to simply visit briefly and go back to their homes in order to maintain their dignity and respect”, she added.

Speaking on the thematic preoccupation of the movie, the co-producer of the movies, Adewunmi Odukoya, who happens to be the husband to the scriptwriter, Kehinde Olorunyomi, said, “It is a topic that people try to shy away from but in the real sense, 85 per cent of mothers and daughters in-law don’t get along. So the preoccupation is to bring all these issues together, come to a resolution and have people learn from them.

“Women naturally don’t really get along, whether related or not, friends, sisters, colleagues, only a few get along well. Women need to understand that when you get married, your husband is actually your mother’s first love, while the mother in-law also needs to understand that her beloved son now has a new love and life partner. But the failure to understand who is who and what to the man, is why there is friction. So as a man, it is always hard to fully understand the situation and how to manage it.”

Odukoya nonetheless advised on how to strike a balance between mothers and daughters in-law. “The major problem is the tussle about position on who have more rights over the man. So for a man, you play safe when you stay neutral, you appeal to your wife and at the same time go behind and appeal to your mother for peace.”

He said, “The need for both women to have a common goal of peace, try as much as possible to get along with each other. Mothers-in-law should give their daughters-in-law a chance to love their husbands and enjoy their home.”

The movie, which took just three months for the shooting, scripting and editing featured actors like Ebele Okaro, Frankincense Echeben, Iyabo Ojo, Jide Kosoko, Kehinde Olorunyomi, Kenneth Okolie, Monica Friday, Rachel Oniga and Shaffy Bello.

Odukoya said however that it wasn’t easy picking the best person to play each character, adding, “Eventually we found the best actor for each character and it turned out great as though the writer had the actors in mind when writing the play.”

The couple have had two other movies in the cinema, “The Novelist” and “Couples Award”, and both came out great. “We have produced other films that didn’t go to the cinema but are widely watched. So basically this is the eighth film we have produced”, he added. They hope that people would enjoy the movie and learn one or two lessons from it as they come to watch it at the cinemas.

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