The Woman King is an American historical film about the Egozi, an all-female warrior unit that defended the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa in the 17th to 19th centuries. Set in the 1820s, the film stars Viola Davis as a general who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies. It is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and a story co-written by Dana Stevens with Maria Bello. The film also stars Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, and John Boyega.
As a Nigerian feminist, I have always been curious about how feminism has developed in my country and culture. That’s why I looked forward to watching The Woman King, the new film about an all-female troop of warriors in a 19th-century West African empire.
What challenges did they face and how do they relate to today’s world? Will this film starring the wonderful Viola Davis as General Naniska speaks to the issues facing West African women like me?
- Director by = Gina Prince-Bythewood
- Producer by = Cathy Schulman, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Maria Bello
- Writer by = Dana Stevens
- Release Date = Sep 16, 2022 Wide
- Language = English
- Country= USA
- Company = TriStar Pictures
I am not surprised by what I saw. Because I am sad to report that the inequalities faced by women in the film actually reflect the struggles women face today in many parts of the world, including West Africa.
By exploring these bold women, the film demonstrates how the lack of equal rights for women is a centuries-long problem. When I was deeply inspired to see an all-female army with a strong women, I was also disappointed by the inequalities that soldiers here faced. Agozi women were not allowed to marry or become parents because, in theory, they belonged to the king.
During one scene a male member of the king’s cabinet expresses his anger at the character of Viola Davis for attracting the king’s attention and influencing his decision to go to war with the opposing Oyo Empire. She says if the king respects me because I have earned it. More women need to get the respect they have earned.
While big-budget franchise films dominate the box office charts, small to medium-budget films are equally important to the theatrical ecosystem. These cost the domestic box office billions in ticket revenue.
The Woman King Cast
- Viola Davis as General Nanisca
- Thuso Mbedu as Nawi
- Lashana Lynch as Izogie
- Sheila Atim as Amenza
- John Boyega as King Ghezo
- Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Santo Ferreira
- Adrienne Warren as Ode
- Jayme Lawson as Shante
- Masali Baduza as Fumbe
- Angélique Kidjo as the Meunon
- Jimmy Odukoya as General Oba Ade
- Thando Dlomo as Kelu
- Jordan Bolger as Malik
- Zozibini Tunzi as Efe
- Makgotso M as Iniya
- Siv Ngesi as the Migan
- Julian Tennon as Moru
The Woman King Release date
The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2022. The Women King is slated to release in cinemas on September 16, 2022, by Sony Pictures Releasing.