Director Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe is a very special film about a world few of us would know and from which everyone can learn.
Based on the true-life story of Phiona Mutesi (Nadina Nalwanga), who lives in the poor community of Katwe, Uganda, we meet her as a 12-year-old in 2007 and follow her over the next 7 years.
Her widowed mother (Lupita Nyong’o) cannot afford to send her to school, so Phiona spends her day bringing water home in large cans and selling maize for money.
Life changes when she follows her younger brother (Martin Kabanza), who steals off during the day to get a daily breakfast in the little enclosure set up by a soccer coach Robert Katende (David Oyelowo).
Katende teaches other unschooled children to use their minds by learning to play chess.
Phiona tries her hand at the game and the results are dramatic!
Writer William Wheeler’s screenplay transports our visual pleasure through an understanding of the underprivileged Ugandans and the thrills of victory.
Queen of Katwe is pure joy and well-worth a 4.5 out of 5.