The movie Queen of Katwe, is out in theaters today, with the game of chess playing an important part. As shocking as it is, I have never played chess. I can tell you from experience, you don’t need to know how to play chess to enjoy it!
Queen of Katwe is a Disney movie that’s based on a true story.
About Queen of Katwe:
“Queen of Katwe” is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. As a result of the support she receives from her family and community, she’s instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler, “Queen of Katwe” is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher, p.g.a. and John Carls, p.g.a. with Will Weiske and Troy Buder serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o 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.
My twelve year old daughter attended the preview showing of Queen of Katwe with me.
As a parent I can say this is a movie with countless lessons about life, challenges, dedication, perseverance and the bond of family. My daughter Nora said her favorite lesson was “Not to be too confident about things, or it can make you loose focus on what you’re doing”. She also mentioned that she enjoyed seeing the different ages working together at learning chess.
Although neither of knows how to play the game of chess, or recognized a single actor or actress in Queen of Katwe, we both walked away having truly enjoyed this film.
Queen of Katwe is in theaters everywhere! Get your tickets today!