Viola Davis Slays In The Woman King. Why This Is The Must-See Movie Of The Fall

By   |   September 13, 2022   |   Entertainment

Female African warriors are not just characters we’ve seen in a very popular film — they actually existed! In the 1800s, an African king employed women to fight against European enslavers as well as other tribes who stole their people. The story of these incredible women is now being told in this incredible new film.

What Is The Woman King?

The Woman King Nawi Sony Pictures

Inspired by the real Agojie fighters who protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s, Viola Davis stars as Nansica, the leading general of the Agojie. Her fierce all-female army unleashes brave attacks to free Black people who would have been stolen and sold, and they are rewarded for their work by living inside the walls of the king’s palace. New recruits arrive to train and win their place in this army, which includes Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), who’s been cast out of her home by her exasperated father. While she is one of the strongest and bravest vying to become a part of the Agojie, she is headstrong, which makes her clash with and impress Nanisca.

Dahomey’s biggest threat is a fellow tribe who build their prosperity by selling Africans to European enslavers. As the story unfolds, we find out about Nanisca’s connection to these villains. We also meet many of the other warriors in the Ajoie army, including Igozie, who becomes a big sister to Nawi, and Amenza, a mystic healer.

Why We Love The Woman King

The Woman King shifts the narrative of the role of women as warriors. We truly loved how it shines a bright beacon on advanced African society’s military prowess, along with the dignity and the presence of royalty and hierarchy of Africa’s past, which people mistakenly think originated in Europe.

Why You’ll Love The Woman King

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, this is a fierce love letter by women about women who had a major role in African history. The scenes are saturated with color, creating the film’s lush and scenic atmosphere. The characters are fully developed and impossible not to root for (or yearn for their demise). The handling of such sensitive subjects as involuntary enslavement is done with thoughtfulness and humility. There is dancing and joyfulness. And of course, seeing a bunch of bad-ass DivaGals (yeah, we’re calling it!) kicking butt is worth every minute. Kudos to Bythewood and Davis for bringing their epic vision to the screen.

There’s a lot packed into this movie — it runs more than two hours long. Despite its extensive length, The Woman King never slows down. It unpacks a new surprising turn (and there are a few), just when you think you can take a breath. So grab your friends, sisters, mother, grandmas and the men in your life to see The Woman King and revel in a part of our history that is finally getting its rightful due.

When and Where Can I see The Woman King?

The Woman King, starring Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashanna Lynch, Sheila Atim and John Boyega, is in theaters Thursday, Sept. 15.

photo credit: Sony

Filed Under: Entertainment
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