The Woman King
While this is a brilliant film, smart, progressive women will love it!!!
Viola Davis gives a historically important performance as an African warrior leading her army of women to protect her Kingdom of Dahomey in the early 1800s. In the process, she rivals the performances of Charlton Heston in Ben Hur (1959), Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (1960) and Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
Filmed in South Africa, the scenery is beautiful, and the music has a pulsating emotional feel that will leave nearly all viewers entranced. Ms. Davis, playing General Nanisca, leads her dedicated recruits in battle scenes where she seeks to defeat a largely white enemy sent to destroy their existence.
What gives this film historical significance is that it functions as an open door on how the slave trade operated in the United States, the “Land of the free and home of the brave”. General Nanisca’s country is in West Africa, and slavers sought to fill large vessels with kidnapped Africans to transport them to a desolate life in North America.
Ms. Davis, who previously won a best supporting Oscar for her role in Fences (2016), is stunning in her role as General Nanisca. Besides her skills as a warrior, she has a complicated past that I dare not reveal. Suffice it to say that she was captured and tortured as a young girl and it proves to have consequences that will bring a tear to your eye.
While there were some other great performances, let me just mention Thuso Mbedu’s role as the teenage recruit Nawi. Abandoned by her father, she is a smart girl who overcomes her tendency to violate Nanisca’s strict rules. You will remember her relationship with Malik (Jordan Bolger), a reluctant slaver whose mother was from Dahomey.
Along with death and destruction, there are a number of great dance sequences that will leave you smiling. See this film as soon as possible.