Film review: Queen of Katwe by Disney (out on 21 October 2016)
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- Published on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 11:05
- Last Updated on 27 September 2016
- Monica Costa
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The StoryThe film starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Lupita 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 (David 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.
The SoundtrackWalt Disney Studios is partnering with 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Alicia Keys (“Girl on Fire,” “No One”) on the Queen of Katwe. The multi-talented singer/songwriter/producer’s new original song, Back to Life, appears in the film and on the motion picture soundtrack from Walt Disney Records, which also features the buoyant score from Golden Globe® nominee Alex Heffes (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “The Last King of Scotland”). “Back to Life” was written by Alicia Keys, Carlo Montagnese and Billy Walsh and produced by Illangelo and Keys. Here is your first look at a featurette:
The soundtrack is now available for pre-order at Amazon.