7.4/10
12,303
63 user 142 critic

Queen of Katwe (2016)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.

Director:

Mira Nair

Writers:

William Wheeler (screenplay by), Tim Crothers (based on the ESPN Magazine article and book by)
2 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Madina Nalwanga ... Phiona Mutesi
David Oyelowo ... Robert Katende
Lupita Nyong'o ... Nakku Harriet
Martin Kabanza ... Mugabi Brian
Taryn Kyaze Taryn Kyaze ... Night (as Taryn "Kay" Kyaze)
Ivan Jacobo Ivan Jacobo ... Young Richard
Nicolas Levesque Nicolas Levesque ... Older Richard
Ronald Ssemaganda Ronald Ssemaganda ... Ivan
Ethan Nazario Lubega Ethan Nazario Lubega ... Benjamin
Nikita Waligwa Nikita Waligwa ... Gloria
Edgar Kanyike Edgar Kanyike ... Joseph
Esther Tebandeke Esther Tebandeke ... Sara Katende
Hope Katende ... Hope Katende
Philip Luswata Philip Luswata ... Minister Aloysius Kyazze
Peter Odeke Peter Odeke ... Enoch Barumba
Edit

Storyline

Living in Katwe, a slum in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona, her mother Nakku Harriet and younger members of her family. She and her younger brother help their mother sell maize in the market. She also helps care for her baby brother. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende at a missionary program. Katende coaches soccer and teaches children to play chess at a local center. Curious, Phiona approaches and learns the game. She becomes fascinated with it and soon becomes a top player in the group under Katende's guidance..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One girl's triumphant path to becoming a chess champion.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, an accident scene and some suggestive material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reina de Katwe See more »

Filming Locations:

Kampala, Uganda See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$304,933, 25 September 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$8,805,918, 23 December 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,367,161, 5 June 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The filmmakers intentionally cast newcomer actors in leading and supporting roles to introduce a lot of fresh talent with regards to young actors required for the film. A mixture of South African and Ugandan youth were cast in various roles. The only big name actors in the film are Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo. See more »

Goofs

"Bishop is safe on F3." This was not true. The knight would have taken the bishop after it was moved to F3. Given the way the board was setup, there were in fact no safe spaces for the bishop. This is an especially unfortunate mistake given the metaphor expressed in the scene was that they could all find safe spaces in life if they planned well. See more »

Quotes

Benjamin: [around 113:00 celebrating wins in international tournament in Sudan the three are at a table drinking floats and eating french fries] We use to eat rice and beans in the village... look at what we are eating now mmm mmm mmm.
Ivan: Ketchup... it's the greatest thing ever invented !
[laughing the 3 hold up one french fry with ketchup on it in a toasting fashion and say "ketchup yeah... Cheers"]
Ivan: .
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just before the credits, there are short scenes of the major characters with the real people they portrayed. A brief synopsis of what the real people have done since the events of the film and are doing at the time of the film's completion is displayed as well. See more »


Soundtracks

Mbilo Mbilo
Written and Performed by Eddy Kenzo
Courtesy of Big Talent Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
chess for the win
15 October 2016 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Mira Nair previously focused on Uganda in 1991's "Mississippi Masala" (about an Indian family forced into exile by Idi Amin). "Queen of Katwe" is the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who started playing chess to get out of Kampala's slums. Katwe is the sort of place where you have to bribe people to do even minimal tasks. Lupita Nyong'o plays Phiona's mother, the sort of person who knows the slums all too well and isn't thrilled with her daughter's goal.

One of the most effective scenes is when the Katwe children compete against the students of King's College: the Katwe children wear the traditional Ugandan attire while the rich children wear western clothes, showing the disconnect between the social classes (a scene towards the end of "Mississippi Masala" showed something similar: when the father returns to Uganda, he looks westernized while the Ugandans wear the traditional clothes).

Admittedly, I don't know how accurate the movie is, especially since I had never heard of the story before the movie's release. Nonetheless, it's a powerful, uplifting story. The people involved in this movie deserve ample recognition for their contributions, and I hope that it draws more attention to Phiona Mutesi's achievements.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 63 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed