An army of 4,000 fighters from Benin inspired the movie The King Woman Viola Davis

In addition to influencing popular culture in various other ways, Success Black Panther It allowed the black community, long neglected by Hollywood, to imagine an alternate history for itself. A story that was not built on victimhood as an African nation –Wakandan– which triumphed over colonialism and its defense partially fell An elite team of fierce and tenacious women who enforced their law against the patriarchy.

The Dora Milajeas they called themselves, are not the product – at least not entirely – of the fantasies of the screenwriter or creator of the comics from which the two films were inspired. Black Panther to date, Stan Lee. Designed in image and example Agogi, savage warriors who for nearly two centuries embodied the military power of the Kingdom of Dahomey and who in their heyday, In the middle of the 19th century, they came to make up an army of 4,000 soldiers.

Thanks to these women and their resounding methods of fighting –They used to cut off the heads of their enemies to offer them to their king As trophies-, that area located in the area we know today as Boys He managed to establish his supremacy over the neighboring kingdoms in West Africa.

The King’s Womanthe new fantasy starring Viola Davisnow puts Agojie at the center of a narrative adventure, loosely inspired by historical events, that combines epic spectacle with intimate melodrama and attempts to serve as a celebration of Women’s empowerment and race pride. “For too long, Hollywood has only stereotyped Africa,” Gina Prince-Bythewood said during her presentation at the recent Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). This movie shows dark-skinned women competing for men and decisively defeating them, and that’s what makes it so different and radical.

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So The King’s Woman It took more than seven years for it to stop being a crazy idea and become a reality, and that in the meantime Need a victory Black Panther At the box office to impress investors. “We had to fight with all our might to convince people that we needed a big budget to tell this story,” recalled Davis, who is also a co-producer on the film. “Black people, especially black women, have been invisible for a very long time.; Our voices have been silenced. And for that to stop, you have to take risks.”

It is believed that the Agoji body was established in the middle of the 17th century, and that in its beginnings they were dedicated to elephant hunting; After King Gezo came to the throne in the early 19th century, they were conscripted into the army of Dahomey after the kingdom’s continued military efforts saw a significant decline in the number of males.

Over the following decades they got it Many victories on the battlefield – such as that reproduced by film, which in 1823 allowed Dahomey to free itself from its subordinate duties to the Oyo Empire, until the arrival of French troops in 1890 brought it into decline; Colonialism brought with it a decline in women’s rights in the region, as the French denied women access to education and any form of social leadership.

The history of Africa was written by Europe, thus the legacy of these warriors was silenced ”Prince Bythewood remembers. Our film tries to give her the visibility she deserves.

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In any case, as might have been expected given the extreme sensitivity of our time, the premiere of The King’s Woman in the United States controversy. Although those known as “Dahomey Amazons ” They became symbols of strength and courage, They were also complicit in the capture and sale of other Africans To meet the needs of European slave owners and thus finance the enormous needs of their army. According to film critics, the film whitewashes this disturbing side of Agojie, to the point of turning both the military leader played by Davis and King Gezo himself into something of an abolitionist; In fact, the King did not agree to end Dahomey’s involvement in the slave trade until three decades after the events were told in the film, and even then he did so only temporarily.

“When we began to investigate the histories of these women, we realized that, for the most part, The official narrative is designed to dehumanize them and make them look wildAnd the and reduce Europe’s role in slavery” Prince-Bythewood responds to neutralize these criticisms. “His case is but an innumerable example of the contempt to which the West has subjected the history of Africa as a whole. Much work remains to repair this damage, and let no one doubt that our film is attempting to help do so.”

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