Episode 36: The Woman King and Black Panther: One is not worth watching twice

The Woman King vs. Black Panther: Which tells the more authentic African story?


In the African culture series, host Dr. Bobb Rousseau talks about The Woman King and Black Panther. He assesses which of the two movies is more in line with African traditions. He concludes that The Woman King is the better movie because it is more true to African culture.

If you want to see badass African women with shaved heads, long swords, some running with beautiful shoes and others with makeshift sandales or sometimes without any to fight as true soldiers do, The Woman King and Black Panther are definitely the movies you must watch. However, both movies feature two types of Africa and depending on your emotional intake, you may decide to watch one of them at least twice. 

Hello and welcome to a series about african culture. In this series, I talk about The Woman King and Black Panther; two movies portraying African women as fierce warriors. 

I am your host Dr. Bobb Rousseau and without further ado, let’s walk the dog to see which of these stories viewers will always remember. 

I am not a movie reviewer. This is why in today’s podcast, I refrain from reviewing either movie. However, as one who watched both, I take the liberty to say that sequel 2 of Black Panther did not live up to my expectations. It was draggy as there were various pointless plots and many parts that add no value to the whole story. I am sorry if I ruin it for you. Regarding The Woman King, I say that, besides the emotional episode of Viola Davis as General Nanisca, it was the most historically accurate and efficient depiction of African woman tales I have ever seen. 

Woman King and Black Panther are both based in Africa. They feature African women in high ranking warrior roles usually portrayed by men. They were all at war against men. The main characters are either officers, queens, or tech gurus. 

The Agojie warriors from the Woman King fought to free Dahomey from slavery, whereas the Dora Milaje royal guard protected the Black Panther. Black Panther is a futuristic, rich picture storyline out of touch with African reality, whereas Woman King portrays an authentic Africa that gives viewers a functional and no fantasy plot that takes them into the African realism. 

From the beginning of each movie, it is easy for any watcher to see that the Dora Milaje warriors were organized, sequenced, trained to neutralize, and ultimately make partnership with the enemy. Conversely, the Agojie warriors came from different tribes of Dahomey and were trained to kill and destroy. The difference is seen in their respective uniform, their fighting styles, and their weaponry system. 

Black Panther is made to be purely entertainment. Thus the reason the Dora Milaje warriors wear flashy outfits and AI-designed weapons. The Woman King was a “going back to Africa moment ” to show viewers how African women of the 19th were influential in the fights for freedom and individual liberties. The director did a great job depicting the historically accurate and efficient tactics, weaponry, and fighting styles of the Agojie warriors led by General Nanisca, Lieutenant Izogie, and Lieutenant Amenza. 

This is me talking. I was not at all fond of the first installment of Black Panther; I disliked the sequel even more. There was not a consistent storyline and no concise objective as various scenes were irrelevant and many plots were left without follow ups. Black Panther was superfluous and predictable. I predict the third one will be about Toussaint, the son of T’Challa and Lupita Nyongo ((Nakia) returning to Wakanda from Haiti to fight her aunt Letitia Wright (Shuri) for the throne as Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger) did to Chadwick Bossman (T’Challa) in the first one. Godanmit; did they say too much again? 

The Woman King keeps viewers engaged till the end. Whether we are black or white, each one of us sees us on the screen since it tells us the story of the mistreated humankind. We are the woman king in our own way considering that we all have a territory to defend and different values to live by. 

These movies raise the standards for African cinema. I hope Hollywood producers revise their next movies regarding slavery and African lifestyles. Black Panther and the woman king provide the blueprint about an African rich of fascinating stories that have not yet been told. 

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