Queen of Katwe

QUEEN OF KATWE, 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. The powerful film, which stars David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga and is directed by Mira Nair, will be released in theaters this September. How amazing does this look, and I’m so happy to share this first look of the poster and photos with you all. 

Sitting and thinking about my trip to Africa last year, I’m anxious to dive more into history and culture of other countries there. With David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o leading up the cast of this movie, I know that I’m in a for a treat. 

Here’s what Disney has to say about it:

“Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on 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.’

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. Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” will open in U.S. theaters on September 23, 2016.

Given that Nathaniel is a chess fan, I’m hoping that he wants to watch this even though he’ll be 16. He was a serious player back in elementary school, and he tried to teach me how to play the game. I know how each player moves, but I have no idea how to strategically play the game. Maybe one of these days I’ll revisit. I do want him to see a strong character in Queen of Katwe and maybe get back to that chess board. 

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