Viola Davis: The Woman King – An Epic ancient African War Movie (Video)

The first trailer for Viola Davis’ war epic “The Woman King” is out. The movie when it’s finally out in theaters will depict real-life “Dahomey Amazons”, the historical and formidable all-female warrior.

Based on a true story, The Woman King tells the story of General Nanisca from The Kingdom of Dahomey and the Dahomey Amazons. The epic is set in a former vassal state of the Oyo Empire, the Kingdom of Dahomey.

Kingdom of Dahomey is extensively documented and one of the most familiar nations to Westerners. Its economy was based on conquest and slave labor, with centralized administration and taxation systems. The Dahomey Amazons were an important part of their military and king’s guard.

Between the 18th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Dahomey was one of the most powerful states in Africa in what is now southern Benin. Nanisca, the warrior leader, joins her recruit Nawi, played by Thuso Mbedu, as they battle against those who have destroyed their sense of honour.

The trailer depicts a lot of battle action and cultural military scenes involving Viola Davis as audiences have never seen her before. It also portrays colonialism in Africa in a way never explored before on big budget screens.

Historically, warfare was usually a male’s territory, despite a few exceptions, but the Kingdom of Dahomey faced high casualties throughout constant fighting with neighboring African states and the slave trade. This prompted ruler King Houegbadja to form the all-female regiment in the 1600s. The group was disbanded in the early 20th century when Dahomey became a French protectorate.

Dahomey Amazons

The Woman King’s General Nanisca is played by an unrecognizable Viola Davis, and she’s the first one to agree. “It’s transformative,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I’ve never had a role like this before.”

Indeed, Davis did some extensive training to prepare for this role. The actor trained about four hours a day, five days a week to physically prepare for the role.

“Weight training, sprinting, martial arts, and weaponry training for the machete,” she counted. “I like to say I was the OG warrior.”

Watch the trailer below –

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