Do yourself a favor and don’t miss this film.
You could try to guess the movie by its title, but I’m here to tell you that it won’t work for American historical epics, so you’ll just have to watch it for yourself.
Now that your appetite has been piqued, read on to find out why I am so confident that this film will brighten your day.
About The Woman King
The Agojie were a female warrior unit supported by the West African kingdom of Dahomey between the 17th and 19th centuries, and they are the focus of the American historical epic film The Woman King, set to be released in 2022. Viola Davis plays a general who prepares the next generation of soldiers to fight in the 1820s setting of the film. The screenplay and direction are both by Dana Stevens and Gina Prince-Bythewood. The screenplay was co-written by Dana Stevens and Maria Bello. Sheila Atim, John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu, and Lashana Lynch all have roles in the film.
The film’s premise originated during Maria Bello’s trip to Benin, where the Agojie kingdom once stood; the following year, they met with TriStar Pictures, and by 2020, the film had been greenlit, with filming beginning in South Africa in November of the following year.
In 2022, Sony Pictures Releasing released The Woman King to theaters in the United States on September 16 after it had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9.
The Woman King Plot
Dahomen women who had been taken hostage by slavers from the Oyo Empire were rescued by General Nanisca, leader of the all-female group of warriors known as the Agojie, in 1823 in the West African kingdom of Dahomey. King Ghezo of Dahomey is angered by this and readies his army for war against the Oyo Empire. A new group of Agolie warriors are being trained by General Nanisca. They will defend the kingdom. Nawi is a headstrong girl who refused to marry a man who would beat her and was therefore offered to the king by her father. She befriends the veteran Agojie Izogie, and she leaves Nanisca in shock by revealing a birthmark that reveals she was adopted.
Santos Ferreira, a white slave trader, and Malik, a half-Dahomean slave trader, arrived in Africa as part of an alliance with Oyo’s General Oba Ade. Nawi meets Malik by chance when he is taking a shower, and the two quickly become close pals. As soon as they complete their Agojie training, she secretly visits Malik to learn of an impending attack by the Oyo Empire. Immediately, she tells Nanisca, who scolds her for her carelessness.
According to the General, the Oba kidnapped her when she was young, raped her, and then caused her to become pregnant. She gave birth to a daughter and then inserted a shark tooth into her left shoulder before sending her on her way. After assisting Nawi in removing the tooth, Nanisca reveals that Nami is indeed her biological daughter.
There was a huge battle at the end of the film between the Agojies and the Oyo. Despite the successful attack, Oba managed to flee, and Izogie and Nawi were taken prisoner. Nawi, meanwhile, managed to get away, while Izogie met his end. After the festival is over, Nawi and her mother privately acknowledge their familial relationship now that Nanisca has crowned “The Woman King.”
The Woman King Cast
- Viola Davis as General Nanisca
- Thuso Mbedu as Nawi
- Wanda BAnda as Young Nanisca
- Sheila Atim as Amenza
- Lashana Lynch as Izogie
- Lethabo as Young Amenza
- Jordan Bolger as Malik
- John Boyega as King Ghezo
- Jimmy Odukoya as General Oba Ade
- Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Santo Ferrerira
- Joel Mukadi as Young Oba
- Jayme Lawson as Shante
- Masali Baduza as Fumbe
- Zozibini Tunzi as Efe
- Angelique Kidjo as Meunon
- Adrienne Warren as Ode
- Siv Ngesi at the Migan
- Julian Tennon as Moru
- Makogotso M as Iniya
- Thando Dlomo as Kelu
The Woman King Production
Producers Cathy Schulman and Maria Bello worked with screenwriter Dana Steven and director Gina Prince-Bythewood on the film.
Maria Bello visited Benin in West Africa in 2015 to research the Agojie people and their culture. She returned to Los Angeles convinced she had discovered a story worth telling and recruited Cathy Schulman, the executive director of women in film, to assist her in making the film. TriStar Pictures and Entertainment One worked together to make this film.
While filming, she researched the Agojie with the help of production designer Akin McKenzie. They looked through a lot of books, photos, and Leonard Wantchekon’s (a professor at Princeton) old writings.
In November of 2021, the production team relocated to South Africa for the subsequent five-month shoot. The character in the sequel reflects on a past sexual assault, and Prince cites Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony as inspiration.
The film’s production had to be halted because of the pandemic, and it didn’t pick back up until the middle of January 2022. Terilyn A. Shropshire, who previously edited another of Prince-Bythewood’s films, finished this one. Milan Records issued the soundtrack album on September 16, 2022.
The Woman King Release
Sony Pictures Releasing released the film in theaters on September 16, 2022, following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9.
A video-on-demand version of “The Woman King” is scheduled for release on November 22, 2022; a DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD version is scheduled for release on December 13, 2022.
If you are still waiting for another push, this is not necessary, so put this movie on your bucket list.