*”The Woman King” is magical! “The Woman King” is powerful! “The Woman King” is THE movie of the year!
The film opens in 1823 in the kingdom of Dahomey, located in what is now Benin. For several centuries, this kingdom was defended by an army of fierce women fighters called the Agojie. Many are comparing these amazing fighters to the Dora Milaje, the all-female special forces depicted in Marvel’s “Black Panther.” But, that unit was fictional. There’s nothing made up about the Agojie! This movie is based on historical facts! These women were fierce and brave!
In order to protect against the slave trade and other male lead warriors who have been attacking Dahomey Villages, General Nanisca must build up her army by bringing in a new group of female recruits, amongst them an impetuous young teenager named Nawi, played by Thuso Mbedu.
Nanisca is also fighting off her own personal demons and is aided in working through them by her right-hand soldiers Amenza, played by Sheila Atim and Izogie played by Lashana Lynch.
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This story unfolds with richness, beauty, passion, and full of resolve.
EURweb sat down with Lashana Lynch and Sheila Atim to discuss their roles in the movie and how not only depicting beautiful, strong Black women was important, but also, how representing Black women’s naturally beautiful and diverse hairstyles will leave a mark on young women that have hair like them.
Lynch said, “there are so many things in this movie, that as we are talking about it, we are unearthing all of these really powerful things for young people to see and to know and it’s through art.”
Yes, this movie is a piece of art. It’s exhilarating to watch these women fighting fearlessly, supporting one another and encouraging one another as they navigate the complications of living within a new dynasty with old ways. It’s almost another layer of the movie.
Davis was pitched the idea for the film in 2015 by Maria Bello, one of the movie’s producers, in a speech she made presenting Davis with an award at the National Women’s History Museum in Los Angeles. That ultimately lead to an arduous creative process that “looks like something that does not make this business attractive,” Davis said.
“Everything in between is not pretty. It really isn’t,” she said. “You literally have to have the spirit of an artistic warrior when you are fighting for material.”
“The Woman King” is now playing in theaters nationwide. Watch our exclusive conversation with the cast in the clips below.