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Mary and Martha

Mary and Martha

Photo Credit: Melissa Moseley / HBO
Air Date Rating Share Against the
Saturday, April 20, 2013 N/A
(Click any date to see TV listings for that day)
  • Season: 2012-2013
  • Network: HBO
  • Genre: Drama
  • Category: Movies
  • Subject Matter: Woman Against The System, Medical/Disease/Mental Illness, Foreign/Exotic Location

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Plot Synopsis

Mary and Peter live in a Virginia coastal town with their shy son George. After George is bullied at school, Mary decides to put her career as an interior designer on hold to devote more time to him and impulsively decides to take him to Africa to learn about the world. She wants to reconnect with her son and not have the kind of distant relationship she shared with her own father, Tom, who devoted his life more to politics than family. Peter questions her decision, but reluctantly agrees to the plan, and Mary and George depart for an adventure in South Africa, where George begins to come out of his shell and thrive. In a remote location, George is bitten by a mosquito that slips through a tiny hole in the net over his bed. Despite Mary's frantic efforts to rush him to a hospital for treatment, he soon dies. Meanwhile, British housewife Martha is stunned to hear that her 24-year-old son, Ben, wants to teach in Africa. Ben embraces life in Africa to the fullest, teaching at an orphanage. Being a healthy adult, Ben thinks he is not at risk and gives his own malaria medication to the children, only to have the disease take his life. Consumed with grief -- and perhaps looking for closure -- Mary returns to Africa to retrace her steps with George. At the remote retreat where he was bitten by a mosquito, she meets Martha and the two realize they have much in common. The two mothers bond over their shared loss while struggling with their grief and the strains on their marriages. Forging a deep friendship, they dedicate themselves to the cause of malaria prevention at great personal cost. Enlisting the help of Mary's estranged father, a prominent politician, the two women beseech both the powers that be and ordinary people to get involved, realizing a shared responsibility to all the world's children.


Production Company:

  • WTTV Working Title Television IAW BBC, NBC Universal

Production Type:

  • Independent
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