OUT NOW The Woman King (Starring Viola Davis)

HellCzar

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As Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical epic “The Woman King” was hitting theaters on Friday after a successful premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last week and a solid Thursday night opening of nearly $2 million in early showings, on Twitter, a different narrative was unfolding.

As the hashtag #BoycottWomanKing trended on the social media platform, a number of users professed their disinterest in seeing a film that they believed obscured the history of the Kingdom of Dahomey, in which the Viola Davis-starring film is set. At issue: that the film, set in 1823, does not accurately portray the relationshp between the West African country and the slave trade.

The fervor over the film’s perceived inaccuracies appeared to be stoked by the film’s marketing, which center it as predominantly focusing on the all-female warrior army the Agojie, plus recent articles that purport to share the “real history” of the kingdom (including this National Review piece, which dives into the history of how some African nations, including Dahomey, were guilty of participating in the slave trade with European invaders, offering up their own countrymen in exchange for material goods).



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But while those historical notations are true, they also don’t reflect the content of Prince-Bythewood’s film itself, which does not shy away from the link between the Kingdom of Dahomey and the repugnant slave trade.










I get it but folks could’ve avoided this outrage if they actually looked up history. Many African Monarch participated in slavery whether West Africa or East Africa. I don’t think this is a movie filled with lies
 

King of GA

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Well what do you know...an actual commentary about the film with nuance. This does make me think though...just how much responsibility should be placed on things that are supposed to be entertaining to also be educational? Because there's a shit ton of historically inaccurate pieces of art that people love that don't and never will get this level of scrutiny.
Real talk..

I think that there is something to the purpose of art that does matter. I feel like the goal for this movie is empowerment of a group of people who so often feel less than empowered. That's a great and worthy purpose. That can't be discounted and is why you will never see a "boycott..." from me. In fact, I didn't even want to type it out there.

That said, I do believe that people do have a responsibility to learn and to at least be able to separate truth from fiction, then judge accordingly. While art can be a great learning tool, I'm not sure that I would put the responsibility on art, and certainly not alone, to educate people. It should make them think, however.

Regarding the level of scrutiny, I'm willing to do it moreso with a movie like this than say, Alexander. I have no personal connection to the Greco-Roman world and couldn't care any less about what they got right and wrong in those retellings...
 
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Real talk..

I think that there is something to the purpose of art that does matter. I feel like the goal for this movie is empowerment of a group of people who so often feel less than empowered. That's a great and worthy purpose. That can't be discounted and is why you will never see a "boycott..." from me. In fact, I didn't even want to type it out there.

That said, I do believe that people do have a responsibility to learn and to at least be able to separate truth from fiction, then judge accordingly. While art can be a great learning tool, I'm not sure that I would put the responsibility on art, and certainly not alone, to educate people. It should make them think, however.

Regarding the level of scrutiny, I'm willing to do it moreso with a movie like this than say, Alexander. I have no personal connection to the Greco-Roman world and couldn't care any less about what they got right and wrong in those retellings...
Good pov. On the one hand I can understand wanting a movie based on history or historical events to be accurate however at the end of the day it's still a movie which means there's gonna be creative licenses taken in the name of storytelling and entertainment. I'm also someone who loves documentaries and research so if a topic I see on a movie or TV show interests me enough I'll actually do research on the topic and/or find things so I can learn more.

I know most people aren't like that and will take information in a movie or show as 100% fact despite being explicitly told otherwise. I just think it's interesting that now people want a movie to be 100% accurate or else it's somehow not worth it or worthy of being told otherwise in the form of a movie. Because if that's the case then about 99.9% of based on a true story pieces of film need to be pulled from history.
 

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Good pov. On the one hand I can understand wanting a movie based on history or historical events to be accurate however at the end of the day it's still a movie which means there's gonna be creative licenses taken in the name of storytelling and entertainment. I'm also someone who loves documentaries and research so if a topic I see on a movie or TV show interests me enough I'll actually do research on the topic and/or find things so I can learn more.

I know most people aren't like that and will take information in a movie or show as 100% fact despite being explicitly told otherwise. I just think it's interesting that now people want a movie to be 100% accurate or else it's somehow not worth it or worthy of being told otherwise in the form of a movie. Because if that's the case then about 99.9% of based on a true story pieces of film need to be pulled from history.
I'm trying my best to find where anyone said it had to be 100% accurate.
 

g-dog-ona-flytip

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So you clowns deleting my post? What's the matter my postt made to much sense? The logic was more than you can stand?
 

BDP™️

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So, from a purely entertaining and empowering perspective, this movie hits. If you are aware of and can get past the truly ugly part of the story, which isn't really explored other than to make the warriors seem heroic, then WOW! What an experience!!

However, I personnally think that is where the problem lies. It is far too easy for so many of us to be entertained at the sake and disregard of truth, and even worse, the rewriting of it for that purpose, especially when there are so many tales that can be told that would accomplish the same thing without changing the narrative. The truth is, African kingdoms have a very and uniquely rich history of women warriors. If the goal is to find a hero that black women and girls can look up to for their strength and heroism, why not explore those stories? Why the need to soften the well deserved image of this group?

This movie does not really approach the savagery of the Dahomey warriors. They were not sparing women as the movie suggests. They were ransacking villages completely unprovoked and burning them to the ground, taking nearly everyone hostage. This wasn't "we had a conflict and they lost, so you all can take them." This was "we went over there and took them by force. How much will you give us for them?" What may be even worse is that the persons that they captured but couldn't trade, either because there was no ship coming or some other reason, they didn't release them, didn't make them servants, none of that. They killed them. This for no reason than they weren't as strong as Dahomey.

Then they kept it up underground until well after the slave trade "ended."

Were other African kingdoms involved as well? For sure. However, very few of them were as prolific as Dahomey was. I would guess that all of us is in the diaspora have some blood in our veins from someone who was minding their own business and the Dahomey decided to take their village.

All of that said, Dahomey was ruthless for good reason. They were under the thumb of the Oyo Empire for a long time. They had to build up their strength and tenacity to overthrow them. They became ruthless because of that and maintained that because they did not want to be back under anyone's control. They wanted to be the ones feared, rather than the ones in fear.

Mission accomplished.

But yeah, this is a very entertaining film and one that would generate a lot of excitement and empowerment, even if the premise lacks truth.
Well said.
 
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BDP™️

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Saw the movie last night. Great movie and accomplished what it was supposed to

history aside…this is a movie I would take my daughters to see

while they did not go into extreme or intricate detail the movie definitely does not skim over or ignores the Dahomey role and thier profiting off of the slave trade.

again…excellent movie and I encourage you to support it because this movie’s success will determine whether we get more African and black stories told.
 

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Saw the movie last night. Great movie and accomplished what it was supposed to

history aside…this is a movie I would take my daughters to see
Went to see it w the wife and leaving the theater we talked about how that would be a good movie for our daughter.

Wifey actually plans on seeing it again w her mom
This girl killed it

Looked it up and this actually her 1st movie.
 
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Infamous114

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Went to see it w the wife and leaving the theater we talked about how that would be a good movie for our daughter.

Wifey actually plans on seeing it again w her mom

This girl killed it

Looked it up and this actually her 1st movie.
She did a good job in The Underground Railroad on Amazon Prime