Seasons of a Life | Chicago Reader

Seasons of a Life

In this old-fashioned melodrama (2009) from Malawi, a poor housemaid is impregnated by her wealthy employer and, after he bribes her to give up the child, puts herself through law school. Writer-director Shemu Joyah is an amateur by his own admission—he financed the movie with money he earned as a real estate consultant—and as in many independent African productions, the consumer-grade video is ugly and the dialogue frequently inaudible. Though informative and persuasive as a document of institutionalized sexism in modern Africa, the movie is curiously narrow in its social outlook, taking place almost exclusively among Malawi’s tiny metropolitan upper class and barely acknowledging the rural poor.

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