7.2/10
110
3 user 3 critic

Bush Mama (1979)

It details the life of Dorothy who is a poor black woman. Her husband is put in jail for observable reason and she is pregnant with a second child. The government threatens to take away her welfare if she does not get an abortion.

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Stars: Cora Lee Day, Alva Rogers, Barbarao
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Barbarao ...
Dorothy (as Barbara O. Jones)
Johnny Weathers ...
T.C.
Susan Williams ...
Luann
Cora Lee Day ...
Molly
Simmi Ella Nelson ...
Simmi
Bettie J. Wilson ...
Social Worker
Bob Ogburn Jr. ...
Dahomey man
Ben Collins ...
Ben
Renna Kraft ...
Angi
Darian Gibbs ...
Young Street Boy
Minnie Stewart ...
1st Welfare Recipient
Malbertha Pickett ...
2nd Welfare Recipient
Bertha Yates ...
Secretary
Chris Clay ...
Policeman
Charles Brooks ...
Preacher
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Storyline

It details the life of Dorothy who is a poor black woman. Her husband is put in jail for observable reason and she is pregnant with a second child. The government threatens to take away her welfare if she does not get an abortion.

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independent film | See All (1) »

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Drama

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September 1979 (USA)  »

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Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unwilling to submit to a life of poverty in Watts
30 January 2016 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Bush Mama (1979) was written, produced, edited, and directed by Haile Gerima. An actor know as Barbarao (Barbara O. Jones) plays Dorothy. Dorothy's husband is in prison, and we're told he's innocent. Dorothy has a teen-age daughter, and Dorothy is pregnant.

Dorothy is frequently visited by her welfare caseworker, who, although African-American, represents the power of the establishment. She's not all alone--she has friends who care about her. One of them tells her, "We'll all take care of you and the baby." Dorothy gives the realistic answer, "How can you take care of me? You don't have anything yourself."

The question for Dorothy is whether to have the baby or terminate the pregnancy. The caseworker wants her to terminate the pregnancy. Dorothy is ambivalent. Telling more of the plot in this review would be inappropriate.

This is a powerful indictment of the economic, social, and psychological situation in Watts in 1979. I wish I could say, "That was then. This is now." However, we all know it's not true.

We saw this movie at the excellent Dryden Theatre in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. It will work well on a small screen.


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