Last month when I flew out to LA we had a busy schedule Queen Of Katwe was first up on our itinerary. It’s always so exciting to go into that screening room and see a movie that has not yet been released.
I laughed and I cried and it really opened my eyes to the struggles that many people all over the world struggle with every day. Most days they don’t know what they are going to eat and if they will have a roof over our heads. This story will inspire anyone – that no matter where you came from, if you set your mind to it, you can make your dreams come true!
This is not something that was written from someones imagination – it is a story about someone’s real life experience. “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, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
About Queen Of Katwe:
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.
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. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will open in U.S. theaters on September 30, 2016.
I love this story and how she was brave enough to keep trying and keep winning so that she could help her family get out of a life of poverty. Her family has so many more opportunities because of this brave girls desire and knowledge to play chess. She is also very determined to keep winning and playing.
Robert Katende (Oyelowo), the missionary and coach had a huge impact on Phion’s life. He encouraged her to play – even when some of the kids weren’t so nice to her. He also encourage her and her siblings to get an education. He was at the right place at the right time to be part of this incredible story.
I really have never seen a movie like this – it’s so powerful and helps you to realize that you can be brave and work hard for what you want. Bring your tissues because this movie will make you cry sad and happy tears!
Make plans to see this movie when it’s released nationwide on Friday September 30!
Every good Disney movie has music that will make you smile. Check out #1 Spice!
Disclosure – I received an all expense paid trip to Los Angeles. All opinions are my own.