If you haven’t seen the epic, heart-pounding theatrical trailer for “The Woman King” yet, take two minutes and watch it now.
Featuring yet another impressive performance from Oscar winner Viola Davis, “The Woman King” follows the historical true story of the Agojie, the all-female military regiment charged with protecting the embattled African Kingdom of Dahomey.
“You are called to join the king’s guard. No kingdom in all of Africa shares this privilege. Train hard. Fight harder. We fear no one. And we fear no pain. I offer you a choice. Fight, or we die.” ~ Nanisca, “The Woman King” theatrical trailer
“The Woman King”, starring Viola Davis, is an upcoming American historical epic film about the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey in the 19th century from the threat of European colonizers and the slave trade. The Agojie train their candidates through an intense training regimen to defend their people against the Oyo Empire’s draconian and well-armed regime.
The Agojie tribe is preparing for a fight against the Oyo and Portuguese slave traders. However, personal secrets come to light that show how much these women have sacrificed in order to bond them together as an unstoppable fighting force of warrior women.
The film is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, with a story by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens, and a screenplay by Dana Stevens. It is produced by Cathy Schulman, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, and Maria Bello.
The Star-Studded cast for “The Woman King” includes:
- Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood
- Story by: Maria Bello and Dana Stevens
- Screenplay by: Dana Stevens
- Produced by: Cathy Schulman, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, and Maria Bello
- Executive Producer: Peter McAleese
- Cast: Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega
Is the Woman King Out Yet?
The Woman King will debut at the Toronto Film Festival on September 9, 2022, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on September 16, 2022, by Sony Pictures Releasing.
The Associate Press joins the excitement surrounding the movie with the tweet, "When “The Woman King” rises up in theaters, it will emerge as a potent force on a movie landscape that has seldom seen something like it.
The action-drama draws from the real history of the Agojie and puts female power front and center."
Is The Woman King Based on a True Story?
Yes. The nation of Dahomey was located in modern day Benin.
The all-female unit of warriors known as the Agojie are also known as Dahomey Amazons.
The Dahomey Amazons were an all-female unit of warriors who protected the people of the African kingdom of Dahomey from the threat of European colonizers and the slave trade. They were highly trained and incredibly skilled in combat, and were able to hold their own against even the most heavily armed opponents.
The Woman King is the first feature film to be made about the Dahomey Amazons, and brings their story to life in an epic tale of courage and strength.
Is "The Woman King" Problematic?
Some folks on the internet are voicing concerns that while they appreciate the woman empowerment behind the movie, "The Woman King", that the movie has ignored many of the historically accurate problems with the group.
Namely, the Dahomey Amazons were a part of a monarchy that was known for its brutal practices, like human sacrifice. So while they may have been an all-female fighting force, they were also complicit in some shocking crimes.
It remains to be seen how "The Woman King" will deal with these issues.
There are claims that the Agojie were major participants in the slave trade, however, I've had difficulties finding original or secondary sources for these claims. (If you know of a specific source for this, please leave a comment with a link. I would love to expand on this.)