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Viola Davis in Brazil: actress praises fans’ love at a press conference; Look

Viola Davis no Brasil

One of the most loved actresses currently is in Brazil: Viola Davis set foot in Brazilian lands for the first time yesterday afternoon (18) to promote the film The King Womanin which she acted as protagonist and executive producer.

In the film, she plays General Nanisca, leader of Agojie, a group of female warriors who protected the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. The story inspired by real events shows the character training a new generation of recruits, who prepare for a great battle.

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The Kingdom of Dahomey was one of the richest at the time, while the Agojie were the most feared warriors in West Africa (in the territory now known as Benin). The Kingdom system included official positions that were held by both a man and a woman (hence the name The King Woman).

Viola Davis at the press conference held in Rio de Janeiro (Photo: Manuela Scarpa/Brazil News)

Brazil on the route

In a press conference this Monday morning (19), the actress melted for Brazilian culture. “I’m impressed with the culture, the kindness of the people and how everything feels like a celebration,” she said. When asked what she liked the most so far, the actress replied: “For now, what I liked the most is all your love for me,” she joked.

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About coming to Brazil, the actress also commented on the historical importance of the country for the context of the film. This is because Brazilian culture also has African origins – considering that millions of Africans were brought as slaves. “Currently, there are numerous descendants of peoples of African origin in Brazil. We can say that the two countries are linked by history”.

Representativeness

For years, Davis, who often talks about the underrepresentation of black women in film, has reinforced the plot’s positive impact on audiences.

“I felt that The King Woman it was an important story, because I saw myself in it”, Viola commented. “Many women of color don’t see themselves as valuable people and, as with me, this film will help them see their strength and vulnerability. They will have a chance to see themselves in a way they never have before.”

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The King WomanThe Agoji protected the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s.

Producer Julius Tennon, who also came to Brazil to promote the film, commented that the film took seven years to get off the ground and that a lot of research was needed, as there is little material about the Agojie.

“The challenges of developing a film about people of color are always more difficult. It takes a lot of focus, persistence and thinking, ‘This is what we want to do and this is how it should be done.’ This film, for example, can generate a change [na história do cinema] that we all want to see”, he said during the press conference.

“It’s important to have characters like the ones in the movie because art imitates life, and we need to know that they are women too. People not seeing us is no longer acceptable.”

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The duo reinforces, however, that change is only possible with the help of the audience. “We hope this film will be the first of many [com representatividade humanizada de pessoas negras] and that will only be possible if we reach as many people as possible”, commented Julius. “And that’s up to you [público]”, added Davis.

In addition to Violet, The King Woman features Lashana Lynch, John Boyega, Sheila Atim and Masali Badusa in the main cast. Gina Prince-Bythewood is directing.

The King Woman It is scheduled to premiere on the 22nd of September.

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