According to co-star Viola Davis, any member of the audience would refuse financial support woman king And seeing the film in theaters “supports the narrative that black women cannot command the box office globally”.
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Set in the historic African Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Benin) during its opening years in the 1820s, woman king It tells a fictionalized version of the Dahomey Revolution of 1823, focusing on General Naniska (Davis) and her entire Agogi warrior as they fight to free their state from dependency under the rival Oyo Empire.
Although the real-life kingdom of Dahomey was heavily involved in the transatlantic slave trade of that era, slave traders regularly took people from neighboring tribes by war or specifically targeted “restocking” raids and sold them to Europeans or kept them. As personal property, with the practice only ending thanks to the intervention of the British Navy – reviews of the soon-to-be-released film suggest The Woman King will approach the subject matter by portraying the protagonist, General Nansica, as a leading voice in opposition to the practice.
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However, regardless of this stain on the kingdom’s history, many reviewers have praised the film as Highlight From ‘black Excellence‘, with comparisons to Marvel Black Panther They are regularly tossed into public conversations.
One such media figure was Tyrone Edwards, who is a current co-host of the Canadian entertainment talk show eTalkwho not only praised the film directly to Davis during its September 12 premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, but also inquired about her thoughts on how audiences can help block the surrounding noise. woman king and other Black-led films from being just a “moment”.
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“I was talking to [your co-star] Lashana Lynch said, “I’m tired of these black movies being just a ‘moment’,” Edwards said. And for some reason, I felt like this wasn’t just a moment, it could be the new normal going forward.”
“That wasn’t what I was planning to ask you today, but that really resonated,” he added, before turning the question to Davis. “What do you think about it? In terms of going forward and making this natural? Because this rug looks different to me, and I’ve been doing it for a while.”
Davis replied, “Sure. I totally agree, 100%.”
However, she had one caveat, she told Edwards, “But here’s the thing I’m going to add to that: It’s just going to be a moment if people don’t come to see the movie.”
“OK?” I continued. “Because you’re sending a very clear message to a machine called Hollywood…Hollywood is interested in green. It’s just, that’s what I do, so if you don’t come to see it, you’re sending a message that black women can’t lead the box office globally.”
“You support this narrative,” the multiplier suicide squad star charged. “And if you want to normalize it, come and watch the same way you see it as Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and any other movie where there are none of us, one or two of us in it.”
woman king Opens in theaters September 16th.
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