Its time was way past due. A woman as a leader in a battle tale. A woman of colour. Here we get a film jam-packed with battle scenes featuring female warriors. It is based on real events of the kingdom of Dahomey and its fight for survival during the 18th and 19th centuries. At the time they were one of the most powerful states on the continent.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood has taken a screenplay she co-wrote with Maria Bello and Dana Stevens and infused it with life. Every frame whether it depicts training, a battle or dialogue between characters bursts with tension and emotion.

The African kingdom of Dahomey is in danger. A surprise to many would be that their best chance of survival is a group of women known as the Agojie. Incredibly fierce female warriors under the tutelage and leadership of General Nanisca (played by Viola Davis). General Nanisca trains and prepares the young women for battle. Their greatest fight will be to save Dahomey from those looking to destroy it and their way of life.

You will really enjoy the film. But more importantly, this is a vital film. This is because it shows that a battle film can feature women, women of colour at the forefront. With a strong main story and some interesting subplots, it is the performances and writing that carry this film. We see people fighting their inner demons to attempt to attain what is needed for the greater good.

Besides the acting and script, other strong points are the cinematography, settings and fight sequences. The action sequences are rather breathtaking. Filled with impressive fights that are realistic. All this plus the villains are formidable. They are impressive enough and carry the story forward. Give the viewer something to root against.

Besides the tour de force performance by Viola Davis, the film also stars Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Jimmy Odukoya, and John Boyega.

Special Features:

-Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary

-A Caterpillar’s Destruction: Viola Davis on Set

-Representation Matters



-Filmmaker’s Commentary