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“The Woman King”

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Movies

I’ll take some romance with my warrior woman energy

I was reluctant to see The Woman King at first. It’s a war movie, for crying out loud, and I just didn’t think my poor little fragile psyche could handle that right now. But my friend was rounding up the troops to make a showing on opening night. How could I say no to that?

Especially once I found out that John Boyega was in it, too, playing King Ghezo

I also watched the interview with Viola Davis where she talked about the themes of the movie: sisterhood, female empowerment, found family. Stuff I love.

OK, I’m there. 

The Woman King is based on feared warrior women, the Agojie, who defended the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. Viola Davis plays the warrior leader, General Nanisca. She’s training the newest recruits to the warrior team in preparation to defend their home against invading tribes selling captives into the slave trade.

There was plenty of visceral  warfare. I had to cover my eyes at least once. It was so worth it. To see this group of powerful badass Black women exercising freedom and independence and fierceness within the constraints of the social order they were born into. Everybody in my group wants to see the movie again. 

I was listening to a podcast where the host raved about this movie. The exact words were “it rules.” They had a quibble, though. I take issue with their quibble. The hosts and guests did a bit of verbal eye-rolling over the love interest subplot. For looking like he was “plucked directly off of the covers of romance novels.” 

To which I say, “And what’s wrong with that?”

Bring on the romance novel vibe, thank you very much.

I mean, come on. This is Gina Prince-Bythewood directing. Love & Basketball. Beyond the Lights. She does romance.

Do people think that just because a story’s about a bunch of fierce Black women, that we don’t want to see a little love, some beautiful men who aren’t trying to hurt or oppress us? 

Don’t give me any of this pooh-poohing of some romantic hotness. Black women be having to do it all, including running barefoot through thorns. We deserve a little something something now and then. If that includes a beautiful Black man, with long curly hair, wearing a billowing white shirt in front of a waterfall, then give it to me.  

Let us have this, I say. Let us have this.



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