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Blood, Violence And History: A Review Of The Woman King

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Blood And Violence: A Review Of The Woman King

Inspired by actual historical event, The Woman King is a well-crafted African epic battle movie. It is filled with actions, violence, thrillers and mammoth of bloodthirsty crowd and characters. Set in Dahomey, present day Republic Of Benin during the 19th century, the movie is about an all-female unit of warriors known as Agojie (Dahomey Amazons or “bloodiest bitch”) who are all out to protect the Dahomey Kingdom against the larger Oyo Empire of Yorubas whose sole aim is to capture and enslave smaller kingdoms and also fight the Europeans who are slave traders. This movie seeks Africa as a continent that is filled with so many histories and complications.

The Woman King, though, the cast were largely Hollywood actors and actress, the movie was still able to talk about culture and gender difference. General Nanisca (Viola Davis) who happens to be the leader of the Agojie warriors sees King Ghezo, the ruler of Dahomey Kingdom as someone who is very soft-spoken and gentle. In fact, General Nanisca forced the king to give her the authority to go into war.

The main reason why this happened is because the General’s perception of the king is someone who is weak or perhaps fearful of the implication of war. For example, in one of the scene, the following dialogue erupt:

King Ghezo                            

Nanisca, you are asking me to take women to war?Nanisca? War?

General Nanisca:

My King, some things are worth fighting for!’’.

Being the leader of the Agojie (Women Warrior), General Nanisca uses the powerful language to motivate and inspire her warriors. She has a very powerful use of language. Perhaps that is her most powerful weapon in the movie beyond the strength and valor. For example, while talking to her warriors she said:

“You are called to the king’s guard. We fear no one. We feel no pain. We fight or we die”

This is definitely the motivation and inspiration they need to go to war and defend their kingdom against any impending doom.

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