Cogill: Grab Your Kids and Run to the Theater to See ‘Queen of Katwe'

"Queen of Katwe" is a sports film, about a girl who grows up poor and uneducated on the streets of Uganda and wouldn't you know it, through an outreach program, she becomes a national champion in the "mind sport" of... Chess.

"Queen of Katwe" follows the difficult life and times of a family living in poverty on the streets in Katwe, Uganda.

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o plays the burdened mother who sends her children to sell corn on the streets to stay alive, until a sports missionary, played-well by David Oyelowo, brings the local children together to learn how to play chess.

Before you can say, "checkmate," Phiona, played Oscar-caliber by Madina Nalwanga, starts beating the boys and winning in competition. It's a remarkable story that leads all the way to the national championships.

This is not just a movie about overcoming obstacles in life, it's a film that celebrates and elevates the intellectual prowess of a young girl.

"Queen of Katwe" is directed with a sense of honesty and integrity by Indian-American film-maker, Mira Nair, using local children and actual street locations to tell this story. Her film is never condescending and features an unusual amount of joy.

"Queen of Katwe" is rated PG and is based on a Tim Crothers book published by ESPN. The sport of chess is on full display and the movie finds immense beauty in the middle of poverty.

A cinematic celebration of life and family alongside intelligence and dignity. Grab your kids and run to the theater to see, "Queen of Katwe."

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