Queen of Katwe DVD
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine
Director: Mira Nair
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Running Time: 124 minutes
Life in Uganda for 9-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) is a constant struggle. She spends her days selling vegetables on the streets of Katwe, one of the most poverty-stricken slums in Kampala, so school is not an option. Her mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong'o), a proud and strong-willed woman, works hard to support her family, and while she loves and protects her children with a fierce compassion she is consumed by the daily grind and worries that she can never offer them the promise of a better life.
Robert Katende (David Oyelowo) offers that promise. Katende runs a chess program for Katwe children from a makeshift Agape Church utilising the game as a platform to engage and sharpen their minds. Chess cultivates abstract thinking, innovation and creativity, skills that will prepare them for a formal education and a better life. When Phiona follows her brother Brian (Martin Kabanza) to the church one day, she observes Katende sharing the fundamentals of chess with children her own age. It is a moment that will seal her destiny.
She is mesmerised by the game and quickly catches on to its meticulous rules and the importance each calculated move on the board holds. Katende feels an immediate bond with Phiona and recognizing her extraordinary aptitude begins to mentor her. Harriet, however, does not understand why a game is more important than feeding her family. She views dreaming as the very thing that can hinder survival and not wanting to see Phiona disappointed, forbids her to return.
Katende knows what it takes to survive, but he also knows what it is to aspire. With help from Brian, he manages to persuade Harriet to put her fears aside and support her daughter's dream of playing chess competitively. Phiona rapidly advances through the ranks of chess tournaments, and within two years becomes Uganda's junior champion with her sights set on the national championship, despite being illiterate. She struggles with the contradiction between success and her precarious life on the streets. There is no questioning her ability. The only question now is, can she find a way to live and be content in both worlds?
Queen of Katwe