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The Secret Laughter of Women


Nimi leads a relatively peaceful life amongst the female dominated Nigerian community in a picturesque coastal town in southern France. Life consists of working as a landscape gardener, looking after her eight year old son Sammy and attending exuberant masses at the local African church. Nimi's unmarried status (and son) are frowned upon by her traditionalist neighbours and her mother Nene is very keen to marry her off to confer her with respectability. When the handsome Reverend Fola moves into town and shows interest in Nimi, it is like a godsend for Nene who desperately attempts to get the two together.

Nimi's son Sammy, however, has other ideas. He has confused writer Matthew, the creator of his beloved comic action hero Saracen, with his heroic creation and deems him a much more suitable match than the Reverend Fola for his mother. He tries at length to persuade Matthew to marry his mother instead, using every means at his disposal to unite them.

Against their expectations, love blossoms. Although Nimi has resigned herself to marriage to the rather unexciting Reverend Fola, she is intrigued by Matthew. However, she is also very aware of Matthew's married status, distrust of women and general unwillingness to commit to a relationship. In contrast, Matthew is drawn to Nimi not just for her beauty, but the stability of her African way of life and an innate goodness which throws him completely off-guard.


Type of film
Peter Schwabach
Gareth Jones
Executive Producer
Gareth Jones
Director of Photography
Martin Fuhrer
Principal Cast
Colin Firth and Nia Long
Screen Writer
O. O. Sagay


Production status


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Last updated 26th November 2005

Production Company

Elba Films
c/o Handmade Films
19 Beak Street
London W1R 3LB
Tel: 020 7434 3132
Fax: 020 7434 3143
E Mail: (name)


as Production Company