Nanisca’s dreams and Dahomey’s future are entwined with the schemes of the Oyo Empire, the principal adversary of the kingdom (Jimmy Odukoya plays its swaggering leader). The Oyo Empire sells other human beings, including the greedy Europeans, and Nanisca’s hopes and Dahomey’s future depend on the Oyo Empire. Whether or not they are depicted accurately, the images of the Oyo, who ride on horses while wearing turbans wrapped around their heads, startlingly evoke the janjaweed. These mounted militiamen began in the early 2000s to ravage western Sudan. The visual connection to these forces contributes to the film’s sense of the past. It connects the atrocities in Africa during the 19th century with those during the continent’s post-colonial upheavals.
Even though the script isn’t particularly strong, the historical context and Prince-direction Bythewood infuse “The Women King” with a sense of urgency that is palpable in every battle, as well as in the clenched faces and tense muscles of the warriors. It echoes the vow that it is preferable to die standing up rather than live on your knees when Nanisca rallies them before the battle and yells at them that they must fight or perish. Women are taught to live on their knees, and one of the things that makes this film, so moving is the way that it lays claim to a chapter in history that upends received ideas about gender, even if the story is more complicated than the movie suggests. Visit flixtor to stream latest movies and tv shows for free.