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Movie review: "The Women King"

By Daniel Lin November 10, 2022

Following the Agojie, a group of all-female warriors akin to the Amazons of Greek mythology, “The Woman King” explores the history of 1820s Dahomey, an African kingdom located in modern-day Benin. While the movie shows the Agojie’s inspiring dedication to defending Dahomey, it does not accurately portray all aspects of the story. The film fails to include the Agojie’s frequent slave raids, portraying them instead as emancipators, downplaying Dahomey’s role in the African slave trade in the 19th century and omitting how the kingdom’s wealth primarily originated from this practice. I was disappointed that the film producers missed the opportunity to truly delve into Africa’s rich and vibrant history—imperfect as it may be—but the quality of the movie held up.

I enjoyed seeing into the lives of the Agojie, as they were a complete mystery to their people as the king forbade commoners from looking at them. Much of the runtime is spent displaying the challenging training programs that new initiates must pass to become fully fledged Agojie and highlighting the relationships they built as they faced these hardships. As the trainees learn to become real fighters, the Agojie are faced with a new threat when the Oyo kingdom, a longtime rival of Dahomey, forms an alliance with the Mahi kingdom and other neighboring tribes to conquer Dahomey.

The film follows a straightforward heroes versus villains plot; however, in areas lacking complexity, it makes up for in a meticulous focus on connections between different characters. Besides the rushed development of an Agojie initiate and a Spanish slaver who went from acquaintances to near-lovers in the span of just a few minutes, character relationships were well developed and supported the plot forward through their effect on the characters’ choices.

Ultimately, “The Woman King” was well made and consisted of strong attention to detail. For example, the Agojie oiled their bodies before battle to make themselves slippery and harder to grab—enhancing the viewing experience. Overall, I recommend the movie to anyone who is looking for fresh entertainment but does not prioritize historical accuracy.


  • empowering

  • strong subplots

  • historically inaccurate


About the Contributors

Daniel Lin

Viewpoint Editor

Daniel Lin is a junior at Leland High School and the Viewpoint Page Editor for The Charger Account. During his free time, he enjoys watching television shows, sleeping, and playing tuba.

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