Actor David Oyelowo is pleased his new film “Queen of Katwe” shows Africa in a positive light.
The 40-year-old British-Nigerian star plays chess coach Robert Katende in the Disney movie, based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, an impoverished Ugandan teenager who became a chess champion.
And he says the film’s feel-good story and its loving depiction of life in Katwe, a poor area of Uganda’s capital Kampala, signals a new direction for movies about African countries as previous films tended to focus on negatives, reported BBC.
“I’ve done a film in Uganda before called ‘The Last King of Scotland’ which I really enjoyed doing. I think it’s a wonderful film, but that film along with a number of other films have highlighted the negative side of what goes down on the African continent and that’s because that’s a truism but what I haven’t seen enough of is the positive side of what Africa is and represents,” Oyelowo said.
The actor calls “Queen of Katwe” a “huge move forward” for filmmaking about Africa and credits the input of director Mira Nair, who lived in Uganda for more than two decades, with showing the country in a new light.
“I do think that films have ingrained in them the perspective from which they are told and if that perspective is an outside perspective inevitably it comes with whatever bias is tied to that perspective,” he explained.
“I think Mira Nair being someone who has lived in Uganda for 27 years, the level and authenticity and knowledge she is able to bring of course differs entirely to a guy from Burbank, California.”