Conceived in America


Conceived in America

Made in America
Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson
Directed by Richard Benjamin
At Village cinemas
Reviewed by Sean Malloy

This is a light-hearted comedy with a very relaxed approach to relationships between people of different races.

Whoopi Goldberg plays Sarah Mathews, a woman with a strong black consciousness who runs an African bookshop. Her daughter Zora (Nia Long) was conceived via a purchase from the sperm bank after Sarah's husband died.

Zora is finishing high school and discovers during a biology experiment that her blood type doesn't match the combination of her mother and Sarah's dead husband, who she thought was her father.

Wanting to find out who her father is, Zora gets a name from the sperm bank and discovers that her biological father, Hal Jackson (played by Ted Danson), is white and a well-known car dealer who stars in his own advertisements.

The relationships between Hal, Sarah and Zora develop in a natural way, very different from the usual self-consciousness of black-white relations in most films.

Only two things annoyed me about the film. The portrayal of Sarah's gay shop assistant was extremely stereotyped and it was never really clear why Zora felt the need for a "father".

Apart from these glitches Made in America is an uplifting film without the usual Hollywood fairy floss.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.