Over the years, we've watched many Samoan movies much like the Bollywood love stories or Asian dramas but on a smaller scale and budget. It was interesting that this particular drama centred around two suitors: one being a young minister who is looking for a wife to complete and start his ministry and the other a plantation owner and worker who has only a brother and no parents who works his land.
Of course the parents preference is for their daughter to marry the young minister in that the mother proclaims that she will never have to get her hands dirty and it would elevate the position of the family in the eyes of the village and extended family as well as providing a 'sacrifice' for the work of God.
My beloved and I discussed many of the themes that we had seen growing up, his in working on his parents' plantation as a boy and mine in being raised in an urbanised setting yet still being brought up with very traditional Samoan values and language which is why we could laugh and comment on the differences of our worldviews growing up.
For me, the interesting part was seeing the faaSamoa recreated in the movie in that both suitors brought along orators to speak on their behalf in asking the young woman for her hand in marriage. The parents allowed for the girl to speak not knowing that she would reject the young ministers advances in wanting more time to think about it but with the plantation owner, they rejected him and didn't give her a chance to speak.
I think the sad thing about the story, as I discussed with my beloved, was that we know of this happening in some Samoan woman marrying ministers to elevate their families' status and their own which is with their full consent but equally I have known of some who did not want to marry the minister because of the age difference or they were not particularly interested in him but were compelled to because it seemed right in the eyes of the family and blessing that it was believed to be bestowed on her and her family although she might love another.
I think we'll watch Part 2 tonight and see what becomes of the two suitors and I'll laugh and listen to jokes and the Samoan accents of the guys who often get together, in the movie, to discuss how the two are faring in their journeys. Maybe I'll drink some koko Samoa (Samoan cocoa) and eat alaisa faapopo (steamed rice with coconut cream - yum!) and reminisce on my own journey with my Samoan beloved in his ministry...