The Woman King
Cert: 15 Year: 2022 Length: 135 mins
Cinema Handout (PDF 74KB)
Score: 68.88% Attendance: 54
We are taken back to Africa, the Kingdom of Dahomey in 1823 when the Agojie defended the kingdom against the Oyo Empire. 'So what?' you might say, but the Agojie were an elite unit of ALL FEMALE warriors. "Formally considered 'wives' of King Ghezo, unable to marry or have children of their own, their reputation for ferocity remains unparalleled – no one dares gaze upon them as they march through the streets" -Clarisse Loughrey, Independent.
On one level, this is a blockbuster historic war movie, disguising a black feminist story; a big hitter with a social conscience. Amazingly, it was considered unprofitable to make for three years; it has gone straight to the top of the US box office. With Viola Davis in the title role of Nanisca, director Gina Prince-Bythewood spurned ay use of CGI to keep the film feeling 'real', with (nearly) all the stunts being done by the actors themselves – no mean feat when you see the fight scenes! As Clarisse Loughrey goes on to say, "Davis, Mbedu, Lynch, and Atim's performances are all so unilaterally committed – not only to the hardened quality of these soldiers, but also to their gentility, their sense of humour, their pain, and their resolve – that the film's emotions are convincing and sincere. The Woman King isn't intended to be any ordinary account of history. It is a vibrant, restorative celebration of Black womanhood in all its glory".
This is a grand spectacle with vivid and theatrical performances.
Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
A thunderously cinematic good time Wendy Ide, Observer
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