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..
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 »
"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 »
[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.
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"]
See more »
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 »
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