The Woman King

The Woman King

The Woman King tells the story of the Agojie, female warriors who protected the Kingdom of Dahomey in Africa during the 1800s. Keep reading for my family-focused review.

The Woman King

As a history teacher, I am always a little skeptical when I watch movies based on real events. Hollywood has a bit of a reputation for taking historical events and putting a good-sized fictional spin on them. The Woman King is no different, as it tells a fictionalized story from the time of the Kingdom of Dahomey. However, there is great value in the story of these fierce woman being told. There are many online resources you can use if you would like to learn more about the Agojie women. Many of the characters in the movie are based on real people, the Agojie were real, as were the places and kingdoms in the movie. There is much creative license taken in this film, but the overall story is historical.

The Woman King showcases Viola Davis as Nanisca, the head of the Agojie warriors. Viola Davis and the other women in this movie give fantastic performances that connect you with their characters. The costuming and cinemaphotography is also excellent. I do suggest seeing this movie in theaters for the full experience. I also suggest that we remember to enjoy the story in its historical context.

Here is the movie’s official synopsis:

The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for…


Rated PG-13, The Woman King is definitely not an appropriate option for younger members of your family. My 15-year old daughter enjoyed the movie, but she agrees with me that this is not a movie for kids younger than high school age. While there is no gratuitous sexual content, there are brief flashbacks to a character’s rape and some sexual harassment. There are also scenes showing people being sold into slavery (by Europeans and Africans), as well as extensive battle violence.

Agojie warriors in the late 1800s.

This movie would be a great fit for a ladies night out or date night, and will certainly make for good discussion. However, leave the pre-teens at home.

Rating: PG-13 for sequences of strong violence, some disturbing material, thematic content, brief language and partial nudity.

Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Directed by:
Gina Prince-Bythewood

Viola Davis
Thuso Mbedu
Lashana Lynch
Sheila Atim
Hero Fiennes Tiffin
John Boyega

Disclaimer: I attended a media screening of this movie to facilitate the review. All opinions are mine.

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.