Occur the 19th century and inspired by true events, the newly released feature film THE GIRL King tells the story of the West African kingdom of Dahomey, the horrific ramifications of the transatlantic slave trade and the Agojie, the band of fearless women who protect the kingdom. Some individuals have already been criticizing the film for not telling the entire extent to that your Dahomey kingdom participated in the slave trade and profited as a result. While that could be a fair assessment, it will not hinder the truth that beneath the direction of Gina Prince-Bythewood, weve still got a robust film about sisterhood, family and unity thats entertaining and educational.
With the films release, a wider variance of people are most likely Googling words like Dahomey and Agojie now than in previous years, hungry for facts and context. And that needs to be celebrated. At its core, the story is approximately several people fighting against their extinction. To start to see the story of Black women being truly a central section of that battle for survival also needs to be celebrated.
At its core, the story is approximately several people fighting against their extinction. To start to see the story of Black women being truly a central section of that battle for survival also needs to be celebrated.
What also needs to not be lost is what sort of film such as this gives space to showcase the talent of women, particularly Black ones, before and behind the camera. In Hollywood, that doesnt happen often. THE GIRL King arriving at theaters days after four Black women won top awards at the 2022 Emmys on Monday night represents so what can happen if they are given the chance to create stories to the planet.
For over 20 years, Prince-Bythewood has given entertainment to the film world, from 2000s Love and Basketball to her 2020 Netflix movie The Old Guard, an action fantasy. You can say this last film, which reportedly reached nearly 80 million subscribers on the streaming service in its first a month, was her calling card for directing THE GIRL King. Hopefully, this can result in her getting other action-packed projects to direct.
Shes a lot more than proven herself. Instead of shooting in California or Atlanta, in which a most studio films are shot, production occurred in South Africa, specifically KwaZulu-Natal and elements of Cape Town. It had been very important to Prince-Bythewood that the film looked authentic. Bringing forth that authenticity also rested on the capable shoulders of editor Terilyn A. Shropshire, costume designer Gersha Phillips, makeup and prosthetics designer Babalwa Mtshiselwa and hairstylist Louisa Anthony. These were section of Prince-Bythewoods core production team.
In a single scene, Agojie fighter Izogie (Lashana Lynch) sometimes appears braiding the hair of new, young recruit Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) and lets her understand that her hair must be in this manner when in battle. Anthony told HelloBeautiful that she wished to show the love, the annals, the legacy, and the continuing future of black women. Our future stories are intertwined in those lines and in those braids. Its about womens power, beauty, and how exactly we can draw from days gone by and how it includes a meaningful foundation for all of us now later on.
The thread of sisterhood woven through the entire Woman King will leave a lasting impression. Academy Award winner Viola Davis is stunning as General Nanisca, the first choice of the Agojie. She actually is multidimensional, tasked with protecting the young king of Dahomey (John Boyega) and training another group of warriors. Lynch, Mbedu, Sheila Atim, recent Tony Award winner Adrienne Warren and Jayme Lawson perfectly round out the core ensemble cast.
With regards to the fight scenes, we are able to thank Davis trainer and stunt double Jenel Stevens, who, alongside Daniel Hernandez, also was tasked with being truly a fight choreographer for the film. While I was at the Toronto International Film Festival, Prince-Bythewood thanked Stevens so you can get her girls in form. From THE FINAL of the Mohicans to Braveheart and countless other war films, were used to seeing the effectiveness of men in battle but, following in the footsteps of Black Panther, THE GIRL King highlights how women can fight in the same way tough as men.
Also to think we might have almost not reached see all this wonderfulness. From when producer and actress Maria Bello first pitched the story to producer Cathy Schulman in 2015 after traveling back from Benin in West Africa to now, there have been some hiccups on the way. However the finished product is really a must-see.
Theres likely to be considered a lot discussed whats false concerning the Woman King, however the best way to take pleasure from the film would be to concentrate on whats true: The Agojies were powerful women warriors, their story has a right to be told, Prince-Bythewood and her crew did a phenomenal job doing that, and Black ladies in Hollywood are receiving much-deserved praise.