Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ Defies Some Stereotypes, Reinforces Others
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FEATURING STEPHANIE ABRAHAM – Those of us tired of watching Disney movies that focus on lily white characters, real or animated, may be excited about the major studio’s latest release, Queen of Katwe starring Academy award winning Lupita N’yongo and Oscar nominee David Oyewolo. It may be Disney’s first time throwing its weight behind an all-black cast set in an African country, namely Uganda.
Based on the true story of chess whizz Phiona Mutesi and her chess teacher Robert Katende, Queen of Katwe in a predictably Disney form, offers a syrupy tale of how one person can defy the odds and lift themselves out of poverty through sheer talent and hard work. The film is directed by Indian filmmaker Mira Nair.
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Stephanie Abraham is a writer and media critic, she helped found the feminist magazine make/shift and was the founding editor of the feminist magazine LOUDmouth. Her works have been published in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera, Mizna and Bitch Magazine. She is the Pop Culture Correspondent and Film Critic for Rising Up With Sonali.