Before I saw Queen of Katwe I did not know much about the film. I knew that it was based on a true story about a girl that played chess, but little did I know that I would walk out of the theater thinking it was one of my favorite movies of the year. I laughed and cried tears of sadness and complete joy at this beautiful, empowering and inspirational story.
Queen of Katwe is based on the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement because she does not want to see her daughter disappointed. Phiona’s drive to succeed becomes even stronger as Katende also teaches her to read and write, and helps her attend school.
Despite all of her success with chess, her life in the slums remains the same. Phiona worries she will not be able to help her family escape a life of poverty. Katende teaches her to not let anything stand in her way. “What matters matters most is when you reset the pieces and play again.”
Queen of Katwe is in theaters everywhere September 23rd!