Viola Davis stars in a grandiose war series in ‘Woman King’


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Today (22) premieres one of the most anticipated films of the year. In the film, Viola Davis leads a group of warriors from the kingdom of Dahomey.

The first thing you might think about “The King’s Wife” is that it is more of an action movie, which might even remind you a little of “Black Panther” (2018). On the contrary: the characteristic is, without a doubt, more than that. It is a celebration of female strength and African culture and roots, based on the true facts of warriors who lived in 19th century Africa. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the lead role is played by the incredible Viola Davis. The feature debuts this Thursday (22), with a 95% approval rating on specialty site Rotten Tomatoes.

“Woman King” follows the story of Nanisca (Viola Davis), the leader of the Agojia, a female warrior unit that protected the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. Alongside Izogia (Lashana Lynch) and Amenza (Sheila Atim), she trains a new generation of recruits and prepares them to fight against an enemy army, as well as European slavers determined to destroy their way of life.

Photo: Publicity/Sony Pictures Releasing

A celebration of African womanhood

The film, based on real events, brings to life the Agojile warriors, women from all the villages in the region who joined forces. Director Gina-Prince-Bythewood sought to add this characteristic to the cast. Most of the actresses are indeed African, like Sucho Mbedu, who is from South Africa; Lashana Lynch, who is Jamaican; and Sheila Atim, who is originally from the UK but of Ugandan descent. We have West African and African American women as well as production, most of whom are West African and/or African American. This Bythewood thought on purpose, indeed.

direction and script

Considering that the background of the story is warriors, it was important to make the characters in the fight scenes as real as possible, even with the help of stuntmen. The director Gina-Prince-Bythewood, known for the film “The Old Guard” (2020), devoted herself to the education of actresses. Another prominent feature of the filmmaker in the feature film is the internal scenes with the character of Viola Davis, which always highlights her as a strong woman who has to impose herself to be heard even though she has authority. Bythewood managed to combine the two very different genres of drama and action in a spectacular way.

The screenplay was written by Dana Stevens, who managed to set up a whole story about local issues, customs and the relationship the Agojiles had with the rest of the king’s warriors.

Photo: Publicity/Sony Pictures Releasing

Viola Davis embraced the project with all her might

Oscar winner Viola Davis gave herself body and soul to “King’s Wife”. In addition to starring in one of the most complex and heterogeneous characters of her career, Viola is also a producer of this feature film, stating in several interviews how important this film and character is to Hollywood, mainly because it is directed by black people. She shines in the skin of Naniska, and her harmony on stage is perfect with the character of Nawi, played by Sucho Mbedu.

production details

In addition to the obvious depiction of the film, “The King’s Wife” was shot on location in South Africa. A big difference, because this kind of thing rarely happens with big productions. Also noteworthy is the great work of costume designer Gersha Phillips, who did all the research with Bythewood to dress the characters as truthfully as possible. Colors like purple and red can be seen at different times in skin colors on fabrics, it was a way to show the royalty of the tribe.


Photo: Publicity/Sony Pictures Releasing


“The Woman King” is an epic film about a forgotten minority, which deservedly gave the spotlight to black women. Action and drama film with beautiful scenes. Definitely one of the best of the year.

Watch the trailer:

Data sheet:

Direction: Gina Prince-Bythewood;


Roadmap: Dana Stevens;

Production: Cathy Schulman, Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Maria Bello;

List: Viola Davis, Sucho Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim and John Boyega;

genre: Drama and action;


Distribution: Published by Sony Pictures;

Duration: 02 hours;

Parent rating: 16 years;


Attended the premiere at the invitation of Espaço/Z


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