Last Friday I went to see the movie Queen of Katwe on the day it came out. My interest for the movie started when I saw a poster while at the movies to see another film. So let me tell you my thoughts on the movie.
For those who don’t know, the movie was about a girl named Phiona Mutesi who lived in the city of Katwe which is in Uganda, and how she gets through troubles in life while playing chess. Her coach, Robert Katende saw that she had potential, so he started to take her to chess competitions. I do not want to spoil the movie, but there were some parts of the movie I liked and parts I didn’t.
One of the things I liked about the movie was that there was no “white savior”, meaning a so-called white person that came in to help/rescue the so-called black person. Phiona was helped by her coach and later on in the movie she was helped by her mother. I also liked that there were many non-white people in the movie. Most movies will have a non-white person as the main character but will also have a so-called white person running things in the background of the movie. Most of all I loved that it showed what an African woman can do and the knowledge possessed by many of the children in Africa. I am sure that there are many more children who are just as smart a Phiona but do not have the opportunity she had.
Now things I did not like about the movie. In the movie the mother of Phiona (who is the main character) is not married (because her husband died of AIDs when Phiona was 3 years old, which is something they didn’t mention in the movie). Throughout the movie, her mother is having trouble paying for rent and food, so women are telling her that she should get a husband that will pay her rent. This made me irritated because it made it seem as though every woman needed a man to take care of them. Also, the film only showed the city of Katwe, which fits the stereotype about many African cities. Dirty roads, barely standing houses made out of wood planks, garbage everywhere, and crowded streets. The movie could have shown other parts of Africa that weren’t as bad as Katwe, or it would be nice to have more movies showing other cities in Africa that do not fit the stereotype.
Above is the city of Katwe
The city of Port Louis which is the capital of Mauritius
In summary, The movie met my expectations. There were some things I didn’t like, but the part of the movie I really liked was how at the end they had the actors line up with the people they were acting for in the movie. So you get to see what the person looks like today. I think it was worth the money to see, and I encourage other people to see it too.
2 thoughts on “Disney’s Queen Of Katwe”
Lexi, I don’t believe I’ve heard of this movie before your post and your candor in your review and analysis is refreshing. There was an article that I read probably close to 7 or 8 years ago featuring African airline pilots, medical doctors, top scientists and architects and the focus of the article was to present to Black Americans what Africa was like beyond what you are shown on TV or other media. The perpetuation of stereotypes such as you pointed out in the movie are so trite and begs the question WHY are cities and villages like Katwe so prominently featured over the bustling and industrious areas throughout Africa. Great read!
I feel the same way about Africa, I always get irritated when I see Africa in a negative image. Also, thank you for liking my blog post.