How ‘The Woman King’ Validates the Indestructible Bond of Sisterhood for Women Everywhere

And Explores the Complexities of Womanhood (Minor Spoilers Ahead)

Robin A Henderson


Actress Viola Davis dressed in tribal African battle attire as he prepares for war. It’s the poster art for the film, The Woman King.
The Woman King | Sony Pictures Releasing

Black Panther ran so The Woman King could soar.

Ryan Coogler’s global phenomenon changed the game. His international smash hit shaped American culture, shifted audiences’ perceptions, and showed the value of telling Black stories.

The team behind The Woman King has similar aspirations.

It’s a fictionalized retelling of the real-life Agoji. They were an all-female warrior unit that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey from the 18th to 19th centuries.

The Agoji defended their people from rival empires and invading European forces. The film is set in the 1800s when the neighboring Oyo empire threatened Dahomey’s way of life.

The story centers on the lethal unit’s fearless leader, General Nanisca (Viola Davis).

Alongside her fellow defenders, Amenza (Sheila Atim) and Izogie (Lashana Lynch), she trains a new generation of recruits as they prepare for impending major battles.

Veteran filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood directs this epic historical action drama written by Dana Stevens.

Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, executive produce the film, and Terence Blanchard composes its incredible score.

The Woman King is a hardcore action flick that boasts a skillfully crafted script and a phenomenal ensemble cast, all shot against stunningly vibrant cinematography.

The film’s intense and precise battle-heavy scenes, interlaced with majestic ancestral influences, add regality and grandeur. It sets a new gold standard within the genre.

It also sheds light on an infamous female-only combat force that flourished during an era when some West African women possessed more political authority and social clout than their European counterparts.

The Real-Life Story of the Agoji

Dahomey existed in what historians now cite as Benin. It reached the height of its prominence in the 19th century under the famous King Ghezo (John Boyega).



Robin A Henderson

I write about inclusive storytelling in Hollywood and diverse representation in wellness.