UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned a new specialist factual program fronted by Lupita Nyong’o, the Oscar-winning actress and star of Black Panther, Us and 12 Years a Slave.
Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o (w/t) is a 60-minute doc in which the actress (pictured) travels to Benin, West Africa, in search of the Agoji, better known to Europeans as “Amazons.” These warrior women fought both African and European powers in the 17th to 19th centuries in armies up to 4,000 strong.
The program is produced by SandStone Global Productions for C4. It was commissioned by Shaminder Nahal, commissioning editor of specialist factual at C4.
“Lupita Nyong’o’s investigation into the real story of the all-female army is thrilling, haunting and emotional,” said Nahal in a statement. “It’s amazing the true story of these kick-ass female fighters isn’t more widely known – and in telling it, the film challenges dominant narratives about race, women and power. With some surprises along the way.”
“This was a unique opportunity to combine Lupita Nyong’o’s passion and forensic interest in the power and origin of stories with grassroots research in Benin,” added Bettany Hughes, creative director SandStone.
“The Agoji women were recruited by their kings across three centuries and fought in huge numbers in highly-trained battalions. Women have frequently been written out of history, and powerful women fetishized — this is a case in point. Lupita Nyong’o asks searing questions about power play in history and who tells whose story.”
Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o will air next month on Channel 4 in the UK. It is distributed by Cineflix Rights, who will be representing it at MIPCOM, with all worldwide rights available outside the UK and Ireland.
(Photo courtesy of Channel 4)