The Woman King mixes actual history with fiction to carve out an epic tale about an all-female group of warriors referred to as the Agojie. Many historic movies necessarily take innovative liberties with real events to beautify the tale for the screen. Yet, the splendid cast of The Woman King does well to bring the fictional and real characters of the Dahomey country to life.
The movie stars Viola Davis as General Nanisca, leader of the Agojie and a valuable character to the movie. Nanisca takes an interest in a young girl named Nawi (Thuso Mbedu) after encouraging her and other previously captive women to sign up for their ranks. The Agojie serve below King Ghezo, performed by John Boyega, who’s across the world recognized for his role as Finn, as introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Along with a cast of memorable characters, the movie features a few first-rate fight sequences highlighting The Woman King cast’s intense training routine. Viola Davis channels her internal Amanda Waller throughout this role, showing a fearsome and bloodless aspect to her leadership skills.
While the broad history of The Woman King is true, the explicit information in the movie are where the liberties are taken. The movie’s events take place in 1823, where under King Ghezo, Dahomey is trying to free itself of its tributary responsibilities to the Oyo empire. This part is genuine. The real King Ghezo successfully severed his ties with Dahomey’s rival in the 12 months depicted in the movie. However, Viola Davis’s character General Nanisca is fictionalized for the movie, and her stance on slave trading possibly wasn’t shared by the actual Agojie generals of that period. By proxy, her protégé and warrior-in-training Nawi is likewise a fictional character, though she and Nanisca share their names with real Agojie.
The Real Agojie Explained
The fierce warriors proven in the movie, like Sheila Atim’s Amenza, are based on a whole all-women military regiment. The Agojie’s origins date back to as a minimum the early 18th century, however many consider they had been formed earlier. King Houegbadja, a 17th-century king of Dahomey, was thought to have assembled a group of female elephant hunters to fight for the country. However, a later rule of Dahomey is credited with setting up the Agojie because the royal guard. Similar to the movie’s depiction, the Agojie rose to fame under the authority of King Ghezo, incomes the nickname “The Dahomey Amazons” from Western Europeans. Historians theorize that using a large female military become because of their battle prowess and the heavy male casualties from ongoing wars. Under King Ghezo (performed by John Boyega), their numbers grew from hundreds to thousands.
The Agojie had been precise among most West African kingdoms. They trained even in times of peace and wore uniforms to set themselves apart. As proven in The Woman King, the Agojie acquired their recruits through volunteers, formerly enslaved people, women who refused to wed, and orphans. The Agojie lived quite privileged lifestyles, living at the king’s palatial grounds, getting access to tobacco and alcohol, or even having servants in their own.
Were The Real Agojie Allowed To Marry
Another thing the movie gets right is the Agojie’s pledge not to marry and vow of celibacy. The movie excludes that the Dahomey Amazons are considered wives of the king as a formality. Usually, they do not share his bed or endure his children. Towards the quit of The Woman King, Nawi takes up a love interest in a part-Dahomey/part-Brazilian guy named Malik. The romance is short-lived, however Nanisca continuously reprimands Nawi for breaking the rules. The movie indicates that, for Nanisca, the celibacy rule is about greater than tradition, however in part due to her traumatic past. It is unknown if a romantic tryst like Nawi’s could have occurred. The real Agojie warriors had been very strict to their creed, though it is documented that some of the ladies did have relationships with each other.