Mary and Martha Review

Mary And Martha is a HBO, drama film that debuted on March 1, 2013.

When the show opens, we are introduced to Mary (Hilary Swank, The Next Karate Kid), who is removing a splinter from her son, George’s (Lux Haney-Jardine) foot. She learns from some women at a yoga session that her son is being bullied. She heads down to school to fight off George’s classmates, which the faculty denies knowing anything about. 

Miles away, hard-as-nails Martha (Brenda Blethyn) is pushing her twenty-four year old son, Ben (Sam Claflin) out the door, to go play soccer. The next second, she is Standing on the sideline watching Ben play a tough game of soccer. He received notice that he had been offered a job in a small African village, Mozambique teaching orphanage youth.

Mary has decided to withdraw George from school and take him to Africa, where she hopes he will get a better education, away from the bullies. She calls the pediatrician up and questions her about African diseases and is told about Malaria, but she shrugs it off immediately because George has been vaccinated. 

After arriving in Africa, Mary finds that George is going to have more difficulty adjusting than she thought he would. He asks to sleep in the bed with her and she reluctantly agrees. 

Pumelele (Bongo Mbutuma) becomes their African mentor and guide. He takes them on tours to see the wildlife and the vast terrain. George begins to exhibit flu like symptoms and is taken to the hospital. He continues to decline on the transport and is gravely ill when they finally arrive at the hospital. He is immediately diagnosed with Malaria and is treated by the doctor, but the evasive treatment is unsuccessful. He dies shortly after their arrival to the hospital. 

Mary has his body transported, by plane, back to the states to be buried. Her father, Tom (James Woods, Killer: A Journal Of Murder) stops by her house for a short visit, but they are not on the best of terms. Mary becomes depressed and isolated, after George’s death and makes the big decision to return to Africa.

Meanwhile, Ben is also stricken with Malaria and passes away shortly after arriving in Africa. 

Martha meets Mary for the first time at a local crab shake and discovers that they have something in common. They both have lost their only child to the mosquito born disease. Martha also meets Ben’s lover, Micaela (Nokuthula Ledwaba), who shows them the makeshift hospital that is set up for the orphanage’s sick children. The orphanage is two hours away from the hospital and it is very difficult for the children to get proper and timely treatment for Malaria. 

Martha stays in Africa to teach the children how to sew. She also spends a lot of her time photographing every child and every event on film. Mary is in the states trying to draw attention to the African Malaria epidemic, but seems to be getting nowhere with the politicians. 

Martha and Mary put their heads together and create a stratagem and a speech that they are going to present to Washington. 


Mary And Martha is a very heart felt movie that shows us how poor the Africans truly are. The healthcare system is far behind in medical technology due to the lack of funds. Hopefully with all the money that is donated to the organization, UNICEF, we will see an improvement in their living environment, medical care, and a decrease in deaths of children, due to communicable diseases. This film will stir a whirlwind of emotions in your soul. Just a little something to remember “We Are All Your Children”. 


If you have a heart for the poor African nation and it’s lost children, you will love this film. Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn did a superb job in their roles. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful and the screenplay is written in the perfect manner for this movie. This film deserves an 8 out of 10. 

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