HomeENTERTAINMENTMovie Review: The Woman King

Movie Review: The Woman King

STARRING: VIOLA DAVIS, LASHANA LYNCH, JOHN BOYEGA, THUSO MBEDU AND SHEILA ATIM

DIRECTED BY: GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD

RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

Renowned director Gina Prince-Bythewood, known for movies such as “Love & Basketball”, “The Old Guard” and “The Secret Life of Bees”, along with writers, Dana Stevens and Maria Bello bring to life “The Woman King.” Released on September 16th, viewers get to see stars such as Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu and Sheila Atim come together to deliver a film of action, history, drama and adventure for 135 minutes. Companies including Tristar Pictures, Welle Entertainment, JuVee Productions, Entertainment One and TSG Entertainment II are credited for the production of the film and it was distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. So far, the movie has made $37.5 million dollars at the box office with a $50-million-dollar budget.

Inspired by true events dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, the story of “The Woman King” is set in 1823 and takes place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, known as present-day Benin, and this empire lasted from 1600 to 1904. Although most of the film is fictional, the setting and elements of the story relate and stem from actual historical occurrences such as the history of the Dahomey Amazons and the Atlantic Slave Trade. This film is a marvelous tale of the all-female group of strong warriors (The Dahomey Amazons) who served as the protectors of the Kingdom of Dahomey. “The Woman King” follows General Nanisca, Academy- Award winning Actress Viola Davis, and her journey of power and struggle. She must successfully train and prepare the future generation of female recruits for war with the Oyo Empire, the enemies of the Kingdom of Dahomey who participated in the Atlantic Slave Trade and frequently kidnapped Dahomean women.

Gender and race are two social constructs with a majority and a minority where the minority is often oppressed by the majority and inequality exists. More specifically, it is women and people of color who suffer at the hands of these two concepts. Writers, Dana Stevens and Maria Bello created General Nanisca, the main character of this story as a minority in both gender and race. Although she is a woman and an African one, she holds a position of power and does an astonishing job at it. Not only is it just her, but her peers are the same in both aspects. They are strong, fierce, and courageous black women fighting men in battle and winning. If that’s not the epitome of girl power, then what is?

As a viewer, we accompany General Nanisca on this emotion provoking journey and watches as she faces the hardships that come with someone that looks like her in the 1800s. It is apparent that one of the reasons for this film was to inform the audience on historical events such as the enslavement of African people, but it also shines light on the Dahomey Amazons, a group whom many do not know. The portrayal of women of color and women in general in the media is often one of a demeaning nature lacking a display of strength and power. “The Woman King” does the exact opposite of this.

Charlie Bal
Charlie Bal
Charlie Bal is a Junior from Phoenix, Arizona majoring in Mass Communications. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2022-2023 academic school year.

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STARRING: VIOLA DAVIS, LASHANA LYNCH, JOHN BOYEGA, THUSO MBEDU AND SHEILA ATIM DIRECTED BY: GINA PRINCE-BYTHEWOOD RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2022 Renowned director Gina Prince-Bythewood, known for movies such as “Love & Basketball”, “The Old Guard” and “The Secret Life of Bees”, along with writers, Dana Stevens...Movie Review: The Woman King