I know I have been a bit quiet around here this week, but I have been super busy getting ready for and then holding a garage sale with my family. One thing I DID take time to do was see Disney’s Queen of Katwe on Tuesday night. I am going to sum up my review in two words – SEE IT!! It’s the true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda who sees her world start to rapidly change when she is introduced to the game of chess. The film, directed by Mira Nair, stars David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.
Queen of Katwe is a beautiful movie that will tug at your heartstrings, but leave you feeling full of hope. If you love movies like McFarland USA or Million Dollar Arm, you will probably love Queen of Katwe even more. I also highly encourage anyone with older kids (roughly 10+, but depends on you and your kids!) bring them to see it. It may be eye opening for them to see how children in another part of the world struggle to survive and how hard they strive to reach their goals and make a better life for themselves. And just maybe your kids will become a bit more grateful for all that they DO have!
About the movie:
“Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Directed by Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding”) from a screenplay by William Wheeler (“The Hoax”) based on the book by Tim Crothers, “Queen of Katwe” is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher (“The Darjeeling Limited”) and John Carls (“Where the Wild Things Are”) with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.
For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game. Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016.
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QUEEN OF KATWE is in theaters everywhere NOW!