Part of OscaRRR Picks + Best Picture Marathon
The remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, THE WOMAN KING follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for…
Critics and audiences agree this film is one of the major snubs of this year’s Academy Award nominations — we present it here as a corrective of sorts.
See also: Beloved: A Spotlight Series on Black Female Directors.
“The biggest thing I face is discrimination for the stories I want to tell, and those stories are centering Black women. I think those are the hardest films to get made in Hollywood, and these stories are necessary. Not only necessary for us to be able to see ourselves reflected up on the screen, but for the world to see us reflected.” —Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Wrap “Come for the bloodshed, stay for the sisterhood. Like BLACK PANTHER before it, THE WOMAN KING immerses us in African culture; only this time, it shifts the focus to real-life women and proves, without the corny factor, that we have always been warriors.” —Carys Anderson, Consequence of Film “Director Prince-Bythewood does not waste a single frame…. THE WOMAN KING is more than an action movie. It’s a film that depicts a side of African history that is rarely told and an opportunity for Black people to assert their humanity and regality.” —Kathia Woods. The Playlist “A film that has the confidence to be completely sincere in both the sharp moments of humor and the stunning battle sequences. The way it all grapples with history is subsequently clear-eyed, making some closing statements feel especially resonant. It is a film that ensures there is no denying Prince-Bythewood's dedication as a director and visual artist who can take on any cinematic challenge with ease.” —Chase Hutchinson, Collider