Black Panther and Us star Lupita Nyong’o is to search for a forgotten female army in a documentary for British broadcaster Channel 4.
The network has commissioned Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o (w/t), which will see the actress, who also appeared in 12 Years A Slave, journey across Benin, West Africa to uncover the ‘Agoji’ – or as Europeans labelled them, the ‘Amazons’.
These armies, of up to 4,000 women, fought African and European powers from the 17th to the 19th centuries in the Kingdom of Dahomey, not too dissimilar to Marvel’s Black Panther story.
The one-off doc is produced SandStone Global Productions, which has produced Bettany Hughes-fronted docs including Egypt’s Greatest Treasures and The Nile: Egypt’s Great River for Viacom’s Channel 5.
It was ordered by Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual Shaminder Nahal.
Nahal said, “Lupita Nyong’o’s investigation into the real story of the all-female army is thrilling, haunting and emotional. 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.”
Bettany Hughes Creative Director SandStone Global added, “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. The Agojie 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.”