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Parents' Guide to

Sweetness in the Belly

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Deeply felt drama about one woman's refugee experience.

Movie NR 2020 110 minutes
Sweetness in the Belly Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Don't rely on Amazon prime rating system

There are great actors. The story lacks substance and focus. There is talk of female mutilation, rape, anal sex and sexual language/motions. Definitely not content for children.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This deeply felt character study tells a story that viewers haven't seen before -- one that will hit emotional buttons. Fanning is a mesmerizing Lilly: Physically still and given to few words, she nonetheless draws you into the life of this unusual woman, who's as disconnected in her immigrant community in London as she was in Ethiopia. And yet she finds meaningful ways to connect both to others and to her own inner life. We see her working tirelessly to survive and to help those around her who need help even more than she does.

It's easy to root for Lilly, for the downtrodden people who flee a dangerous situation in hopes of a better life, and for the romance that springs up between Lilly and the magnetic Aziz. And the film's visuals are fascinating: women roasting green coffee beans in the morning, a meeting group of politically involved Ethiopian people who get together to chew khat and criticize Haile Selassie on television, lines of women in vibrant veils at the market and on the bus. In less sure hands, Sweetness in the Belly could be all treacle and cringe; instead, it makes you want to live your life like Lilly -- or at least to hang out with her a bit longer.

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