(2016) (Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo) (PG)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Drama: A young girl hopes to escape the slums and poverty of her Ugandan town by becoming an international chess champion.
- It's 2007 and Phiona Mutesi (MADINA NALWANGA) is a young girl growing up in the slums of Katwe near Kampala, Uganda. Along with her brother, Mugabi Brian (MARTIN KABANZA), and widowed mother, Nakku Harriet (LUPITA NYONG'O), Phiona sells vegetables to support her family and her youngest sibling. Her older sister, Night (TARYN "KAY" KYAZE), isn't interested in that life and has taken up with a young man, much to Nakku's dismay.
That mom also becomes concerned when Phiona and Brian start spending time with Robert Katende (DAVID OYELOWO), a former soccer player and husband to Sarah (ESTHER TEBANDEKE). While he dreams of getting hired as an engineer, he's taken a job as a sports ministry coach where he teaches kids how to play chess. Phiona initially clashes with another kid there, Ivan (RONALD SSEMAGANDA), but quickly takes to the game and shows she's a natural talent.
Robert sees that as well and pushes her to get better, something that doesn't sit well with Nakku who sees no future in that and believes it's a waste of Phiona's time when she should be working. But as Phiona increases her skills as the years pass by, Robert convinces Nakku to allow him to enter the girl into increasingly competitive chess tournaments, realizing that winning those could be her ticket out of the slums.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- They might if they're into chess or want to see a movie about girl power.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
- For thematic elements, an accident scene and some suggestive material.
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