Viola Davis leads the story of the Agojie

Distributed by Warner Bros. from Thursday 1 December, The Woman King also arrives on Italian screens. The protagonist of this epic adventure in 19th century Africa is the Oscar winner Viola Davis who plays the brave Nanisca, general of the Agojie warriors, Tuso Mbedu is the young recruit Nawi, Lashana Linch her instructor Hizogie and Hero Fiennes Tiffin the merchant of Santo Ferreira slaves.

The Woman King: the plot

In the tradition of Dahomey, a powerful kingdom in central Africa that existed between 1600 and 1904, the male king was flanked and shared his powers with a female king. When the young king Ghezo takes the throne overthrowing his brother, he vows to protect and prosper the nation. We are in 1823 and his predecessor got rich, like many other rulers and tribal leaders, through the slave trade. The new king is at a crossroads: he wants to change course, but precisely for this reason he is the target of attacks by neighboring kingdoms who instead want to continue the lucrative trade without problems.

To protect the people of Dahomey there is a portentous army, fierce and unbeatable, and made up only of women. They are the Agojie warriors, led by the brave Nanisca.

In the film The Woman King, inspired by true historical events, the audience is drawn into the evocative epic of these warriors: from the enlistment and hard training of new recruits to battlefield exploits, up to the decisive battle to secure their own nation and free its territory from the ferocity of human trafficking.

At the center of the whole story are the charismatic figure of Nanisca and that of the young and impetuous Nawi, a recalcitrant girl who refuses to be sold in marriage and is dumped by her father in the royal palace to become an agoje. A turning point in her destiny that will also change that of her leader.

The Woman King: a historical action in 19th century Africa

A few weeks after the release of Black Panther Wakanda Forever, where the talented Dora Milaje are the most fearsome warriors of the African-inspired kingdom imagined in the Marvel universe, The Woman King arrives in Italian cinemas which tells the historical inspiration of the Dora Milaje namely the brave and fierce Agoje, also known as the Amazons of Dahomey.

The fearless warriors defended their kingdom and their people for three centuries becoming a feared armed force across Central Africa. To tell a phenomenon that was then almost unique throughout the continent, which recognized women, by virtue of their military value, rights and honors precluded to all the others, the director Gina Prince-Bythewood takes us back to an episode dating back to 1823, at the era of the scourge of the slave trade, at a time when the kingdom of Dahomey was threatened by the expansionist aims of the neighboring Oyo empire.
The historical setting, however, is only the inspiration from which this film still made in Hollywood starts, which certainly does not intend to restore facts and events of African history of the nineteenth century with documentary precision, but concentrates on doing what it can do better: tell, in the most exciting and spectacular way possible, the exceptional nature of an army made up of fearless, hard-trained women capable of annihilating any enemy with the weapons of physical prowess, ferocity, but also cunning, courage and sisterhood.

To do this, between grueling tests and battles to the death, a deeply human story, also feminine, which will unexpectedly bind the destinies of the protagonists.

The Woman King enriches the line of works that cry out to girl power and black power and, in one word, to inclusion, with two and a quarter hours of narration that involves and entertains the public, shooting many of the classic and always powerful weapons of Hollywood cinema.

Score: 7

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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