Not just funny

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Cinema Richard Curtis’ Mary and Martha is about the fight against malaria in Ethiopia

All for a cause Richard Curtis (left), a still from the film
All for a cause Richard Curtis (left), a still from the film

Richard Curtis knows the business of comedy. Let us take a moment, go back to 1994 when Four Weddings And A Funeral made us scream with laughter, detour through television and remember Blackadder and Mr. Bean and come back to films in the winter of 2003 where his directorial debut, Love Actually brought good tidings, warmth, great laughs and some sadness.

Richard Curtis is breaking the mould of being one of Britain’s funniest writers, and with his film Martha And Mary which he made for his charity organisation Comic Relief, Curtis brings together a stellar cast to support his fight against malaria in Ethiopia.

Written by Curtis and directed by Philip Noyce, Mary and Martha is the story of two women from different backgrounds who are brought together under extreme circumstances. Hillary Swank lays Mary, an American interior designer who takes her little boy on an extended trip to Africa, and Brenda Blethyn as Martha, an English housewife whose son heads to Africa as a volunteer.

When both of their sons contract malaria, the lives of these very different women change forever as they forge a deep friendship and embark on an epic journey of self-discovery to Africa, dedicating themselves to the cause of malaria prevention.

Curtis’ own fight against malaria began in 1985 when he visited Ethiopia and was witness to the country’s famine and poverty. “It was after this trip that I started Comic Relief.” Curtis has now just wrapped up About Time with Rachel MacAdams, a film about time travel, family and friendships.





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