Here’s the trailer for the movie “The Woman King” starring Viola Davis, supposedly “based on true powerful events.” Really?
The plot as described in IMDb:
- “A historical epic inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.”
Critic Robert Daniels, who mostly praised the film said: “You might wonder how (Director Gina Prince-Bythewood can shape a tale centering the Agojie warriors—an all-woman group of soldiers sworn to honor and sisterhood—hailing from the West African kingdom of Dahomey, when one considers their hand in perpetuating the transatlantic slave trade.”
Other reviews were more blunt about the historical inaccuracies, such as there was, in fact, a band of warrior women in Africa called the Dahomey. And they were fierce, feared and frequently bloodthirsty fighters. But they used that ferocity to kill and conquer other Africans for sale to slave traders. Indeed, the trans Atlantic and the Arab African slave could not have occurred without the complicity of African chiefs who sold conquered Africans do European an Arab slavers.
A review called The Woman King Historical Embarrassment puts it this way: “The movie has been set-up as a having a historical basis, telling the story of the real-life Kingdom of Dahomey in the 18th and 19th centuries…. In reality, Dahomey was a notorious slave kingdom, and not the Pan-African freedom fighters as the movie presents them. They enslaved and murdered hundreds of thousands from other tribes and sold them into the slave trade. Dahomey was renowned as the “Black Sparta,” and was a fiercely militaristic society bent on domination and conquest. Their soldiers struck fear into other tribes all along what is still known as the Slave Coast, as they captured tribespeople from enemy tribes and sold them as slaves.”
In the film, white slavers are the enemy when, in reality, they were business partners with the “women kings.”
The “Historical Embarrassment” review continues:
“Even worse for those who struggle with reality, the Amazons were formed from among the king’s “third class” wives. These were those considered insufficiently beautiful to share his bed and who had not borne children. Awkward!”
“History Vs. Hollywood” writes: “… in real life, the Dahomey are much more the villains than the heroes….The Kingdom of Dahomey was a bloodthirsty society bent on conquest. They conquered neighboring African states and took their citizens as slaves, selling many in the Atlantic slave trade in exchange for items like rifles, tobacco, and alcohol. Many of the slaves they sold ended up in America… There are accounts of Dahomey warriors conducting slave raids on villages where they cut the heads off of the elderly and rip the bottom jaw bones off others. During the raids, they’d burn the villages to the ground. Those who they let live, including the children, were taken captive, and sold as slaves.”
The truth is, as in my written testimony before a congressional committee considering reparations is as follows: Slavery, sadly, has been part of human history since the beginning. Muslim slave traders took whites out of the Mediterranean area and enslaved them in Northern Africa. European slavers took blacks out of Africa and shipped them to the New World. Europeans enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Africans enslaved Africans. Even native Americans enslaved other Native Americans…
“The Arab slave trade took more blacks out of Africa (for a time) and for a longer period of time then did the European slavers. In “Prisons & Slavery,” John Dewar Gleissner writes: “The Arabs’ treatment of black Africans can aptly be termed an African Holocaust. Arabs killed more Africans in transit, especially when crossing the Sahara Desert, than Europeans and Americans, and over more centuries, both before and after the years of the Atlantic slave trade. … African slaves transported by Arabs across the Sahara Desert died more often than slaves making the Middle Passage to the New World by ship.”