Opinion: What calls to boycott ‘The Woman King’ are really saying
‘The Woman King’: a movie about the life and times of King Hassan II, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia and one of the world’s most popular monarchs.
By Mina Kimes and A.M. Homes on January 10, 2018
The first thing you’ll notice about the new animated movie “The Woman King” is that it’s full of women. I mean, the movie opens with an all-female cast.
And a lot of them.
The film, the largest animated movie of 2017, is based on the life and times of King Hassan, the founder of modern Saudi Arabia and one of the world’s most popular monarchs.
The movie’s heroine, Sara, is the daughter and the only child of King Hassan II. And she’s a strong woman.
In just a few minutes, Sara defeats her evil stepmother, fights off a murderous brother, confronts her father and, in the film’s end, decides that women should be allowed to drive. And then she has to get ready to go out with her friends for an all-female night of clubbing.
The movie is by now available on DVD and streaming.
The movie’s female characters have been all but erased from Hollywood.
But in a society where nearly half of all Saudi women work in domestic service, it’s worth finding space for one more woman who’s ready to challenge the rules, even if there’s a slight chance that she’ll be murdered and turned on by her stepmother in the process.
The movie’s villainess is played by the Egyptian actress Nour ed-Dine, the daughter of Sudanese filmmaker Nour ed-Dine. She’s the first Muslim woman to win Best Actress at the Oscars after her mother, Sarah, won the Oscar for “The Artist.” And she’s an actress who has appeared in films like “The Last Samurai,” “Funny Baby,” “The Secret in Their Eyes,” “The Three Musketeers” and “The Painted Veil.”
And then there are the male characters.
The movie’s star is the Saudi Arabian director Youssef Chahine. He directed The Housemaid and the Queen, and the 2015 movie “The Three Musketeers” and its 2016 sequel, “The Three Musketeers