The series The Widow on Amazon Video is getting a lot of chatter. Some people find it offensive. The people who don’t like it take offense partly at the dialogue, partly at Kate Beckinsale’s hair and makeup, and partly because they feel the story plays into the white savior theme. I disagree on most of this.
The one part I agree on is that the bronzer was a little heavy and that the ponytail was annoying on Ms. Beckinsale. But that’s it. On the important part of the story, I totally disagree.
I found the story and the characters nuanced and complex. If you know anything about current events in the Democratic Republic of Congo, you will know that much of the dialogue is realistic and that the story line is accurate as to what’s going on there. As someone living in Africa (albeit in Kenya), well aware of what’s going on in surrounding countries, with a husband who works for UNHCR, and having worked in financial inclusion (interacting with many NGOs), I can tell you that the story is spot on.
Furthermore, (especially since I’m not white), I know the white savior complex when I see it. It isn’t here. The filming depicted many aspects of Africa and did not go into poverty porn. Various characters put other characters in line whenever one character started to go into the wanting-to-save-the-world rabbit hole. It was realistic in storyline as well as dialogue.
One critic bashed the line “It’s so beautiful, but there’s such darkness beneath it,” as trite. Guess what. That line perfectly describes DRC. (I’m guessing many of the critics don’t know much about DRC.)
Watch the show for yourself. Did you watch it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.