Diverse films with strong female characters
With a young and new king on the throne of Dahomey, their enemies have been getting bold. As the Oyo team up with Mahi to kidnap and sell Dahomey villagers to slavers, the king enlists the help of the infamous all-female squad – the Agojie.
Led by General Nanisca, their easy victory over the Mahis has everyone confident that they will win the war. But only the general is doubtful as their enemies have been equipped in Western warfare from guns to trained horses.
The Woman King is like any other historical action movie but the fact that it has an African setting makes it unique as viewers want to know more about the vast continent’s various cultures and folklore.
If the ending left you wanting for more strong women characters, female rulers or global context, we’ve found movies for every theme. Here are 10 similarly female-centric movies to watch if you enjoyed The Woman King.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Similarities – African setting, female warriors
Shuri, sister to T’Challa studies a heart-shaped herb in hopes of curing him but he dies before she is successful. Racked with guilt and grief, she abandons her research despite Ramonda asking her to use it for a new Black Panther. However, Shuri needs to step up and with the help of the Dora Milaje, face off against a new enemy that threatens to destroy Wakanda.
Similarities – true events, period setting, female ruler
Elizabeth follows the early years of the legendary Queen Elizabeth I of England and her rule. After the short reign of Bloody Mary, a young Elizabeth is made the ruler of a country on the brink of civil war after years of imprisonment by her own sister.
With wolves all around her, she must immediately solidify her position as the next queen of England before she is taken down. Considered an easy puppet, her council try to impose their plans on her from trying to get her married for her own survival to attacking the French.
Mary Queen of Scots
Similarities – True events, period setting, female ruler
After a turbulent reign in France where she is sidelined to dowager after her husband, the Dauphin of France dies, Mary goes back home.
As a Catholic Queen, Scotland welcomes Mary back while Queen Elizabeth of England, who is a Protestant is worried about her hold over the neighbouring country.
As she schemes to weaken Mary, elsewhere John Knox, the leader of the Scottish Protestant Movement has even more diabolical plans for Mary.
Similarities – True events, period setting, female ruler
Razia Sultan is a fictitious retelling of the Indian Empress and the speculation that she was in love with her former Abyssinian slave Yakut. As the first female sultan of Delhi, Razia Sultan must never show weakness else her enemies may take her down.
As she first ascends the throne, she proves everyone wrong by being a fair and benevolent ruler. But after she falls for a soldier who used to be a slave which is frowned upon, she must choose between love or losing her kingdom.
Similarities – Period setting, strong female characters
During the Japanese occupation of Korea, a con man introduces himself as a count and ropes in pickpocket Sook-hee to take advantage of the rich Japanese girl, Hideko and steal all her wealth. As Sook-hee starts working as Hideko’s maid she starts falling for her mistress. Unfortunately, the heiress has some other plans as she hopes to escape her uncle who exploits her for his kinks.
The Last Princess
Similarities – True events, period setting, female royalty
The Last Princess follows the life of the last Joseon princess after Japan occupies Korea. 13-year-old Deokhye is taken to Japan against her will and while she tries to escape several times, she is stopped by General Taek-soo who is assigned to keep an eye on her.
After she runs into her old friend Kim Jang-han, an officer and secret resistance fighter, he decides to help her. As she puts all her hopes on making this escape plan successful, they must make their move before the General catches them.
Similarities – Period setting, strong female character
The Banquet is a Chinese retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet as Wu Luan runs away after Wan, the love of his life ends up marrying his father, the Emperor. He returns to exact revenge when he receives the news that his father has been killed by his uncle. However, things are not what it seems at court with Wan still holding onto her throne as the Empress. While Wu Luan is busy trying to avenge his father, Wan has her own plans for the new Emperor.
Kirikou and the Sorceress
Similarities – African folktale, strong female character
Kirikou is a young boy born into a village where the men are missing, children are kidnapped and the spring water has dried up due to a curse levied on the land by the wicked sorceress Karaba. Kirikou decides to embark on a mission to stop Karaba and lift the curse. While the villagers are sceptical, with the help of his mother, uncle and grandfather, he learns how to defeat the sorceress once and for all.
The Life of Oharu
Similarities – Period setting, female-centric
Oharu, an old woman spending her time in a temple starts reminiscing about her youth and the constant change in her status from a noblewoman to a homeless person all because of love. It all began with her first love when she fell for a page and her family was banished for it. She experiences ups and downs as she is sold from house to house first as a wife, then as a courtesan, then a servant and so on and so forth while she simply hopes to seek peace.
Similarities – Period setting, female warrior
The Ghibli film follows Prince Ashitaka who searches for a cure after he is cursed by an infected boar god. While he’s guided by a deer god, he comes across humans attacking animals and destroying the forests that have the animal gods extremely distressed. When Princess Mononoke and a wolf god decide to take revenge, Ashitaka decides to act as a mediator hoping to end the bloodshed.
So there we have it, our 10 movie alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching The Woman King.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!