Viola Davis Addresses The Woman King Historical Accuracy

In a recent interview, The Woman King star, Viola Davis, addresses various criticisms regarding her popular movie’s historical accuracy.

The Woman King star Viola Davis, recently addressed criticisms regarding the movie’s historical accuracy.

Set in 1823, the film stars Davis as General Nanisca, the leader of the all-women legion of Dahomean warriors known as the Agojie.

Shiela Atim stars as Nanisca’s friend and Lieutenant Amenza, Lashana Lynch portrays the confident Lieutenant Izogie, and Thuso Mbedu stars as the young and brash recruit, Nawi.

Under the rule of the new King Ghezo (John Boyega), Nanisca commands the Agojie to free Dahomey from the vast Oyo Empire.

Even before its release, the film faced criticism for its subject matter despite The Woman King portraying historical figures.

The Kingdom of Dahomey’s primary and most lucrative export during the 19th century were slaves. Although the focus of the movie would be about the Agojie and their powerful story, many critics feared that the film would largely ignore Dahomey’s central business.

However, The Woman King’s central story is focused directly on the kingdom’s slave business in relation with its tributary status under the Oyo Empire.

The film depicted the local effects of the slave trade including a slave auction at a port town, the violence such an industry causes, and the vast wealth that King Ghezo accumulated off the backs of sold people.

The Woman King also included the character of Malik (Jordan Bolger), a half-white, half-Dahomean man who struggles with his identity.

His story acts as a metaphor for the stolen history that many descendants of slaves face today. Despite such depictions, some critics say that the film did not go far enough.

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