Yesterday, my wife and I saw a new movie, Queen of Katwe, a true story about a young girl from a slum in Kampala, Uganda who was taught to play chess by a Christian missionary and turned out to be a prodigy, winning national championships and pulling her young widowed mother out of poverty with her successes. It is a nicely made film, pretty predictable, but it had an enormous emotional impact on me because it brought together two of the most powerful and important experiences of my life: being the father of a chess prodigy who went on to become a famous International Grandmaster, and for twenty-five years running a scholarship organization for poor Black South African students going to historically Black universities. It was as though the film had been made especially for me!
One of the things very nicely done by the director, Mira Nair, is the striking representation of the contrast between the lives of the desperately poor slum dwellers and the privileged existence of the wealthy Ugandans and their faux British schools and lives [complete with cricket games and such.] She makes clear the political and gendered importance to the entire slum neighborhood of a poor girl defeating the wealthy, condescending boys at a private school.
By the way, the movie was made by Disney. Credit where credit is due.