Review: ‘Cry of the Dove’

Though replete with spells, witchdoctors and evil spirits, "Cry of the Dove," made for the local direct-to-video market, has little to recommend it. Yet, perhaps because of its bargain-basement sets, poor acting, awkward script and low-quality video resolution, this ultimate mother-in-law-from-hell saga exerts an almost surreal fascination.

Though replete with spells, witchdoctors and evil spirits, “Cry of the Dove,” made for the local direct-to-video market, has little to recommend it. Yet, perhaps because of its bargain-basement sets, poor acting, awkward script and low-quality video resolution, this ultimate mother-in-law-from-hell saga exerts an almost surreal fascination. Pic’s oddest component is its constantly shifting moral ground as players morph from sympathetic to reprehensible in the blink of an eye. Prospects are bleak.

A film professor’s childless marriage leads his mother-in-law to persuade her daughter to leave her “empty barrel” for a more potent, richer mate. At first utterly prostrate, hubby remarries and speedily impregnates a new young wife. His ex and her mother then scheme their way back into his life, inflicting embarrassments on their innocent pregnant rival, and inveigling prof to abandon her. But the sins of the older women supernaturally rebound in the form of pestilence and death. Penitent prof is reunited with his wronged spouse and son amid breaking ocean waves.

Cry of the Dove

Ghana

Production

A Silver Line Films in conjunction with Balamasi Inc. presentation of a Hajia Hawa Meizongo production. Produced by Hajia Hawa Meizongo. Co-producer, Rabiu Mohammed Badamasi. Executive producer, Meizongo. Directed by Ifeanyi Onyeabor. Screenplay, Micheal Rodstick, Wilson Willy Ajenge, based on a story by Hajia Hawa Meizongo.

Crew

Camera (color, video), Charles Nettey; editor, Naa Borkai Addy; music, Ato Stevens, Azongo Simpi. Reviewed at African Diaspora Film Festival, New York, Dec. 1, 2002. Bassari & English dialogue. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Mohammed B. Umar, Amina Ibrahim, Ladidi Tortey, Sherifatu Abdul Amid, Ibrahim Toure, Akoke Inna
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