The trailer during the Olympics for Disney’s Queen of Katwe caught the attention of my teen girls!
From the Disney press release: “Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
The movie’s inspiration was an article that John Carls read in ESPN Magazine by Tim Crothers, about the work of Sports Outreach. It’s based on Robert Katende, a civil engineer who taught soccer and chess to children in Katwe. One of them, Phiona Mutesi, found success with the game of chess.
According to the press release, “Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life…” Paul Tough covers the concept that chess can teach success in great detail in his book, How Children Succeed, which I reviewed on my blog High School, College, Success. Tough didn’t convince me that chess really can be used in this way, so it will be interesting to see if this film gives me a different perspective. But I will be wondering, did Phiona succeed because of skills she learned from chess, or simply because chess was simply a competition in which people with skill could rise? Or was it some of both?
Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” opens in theaters September 23, 2016.
I was not compensated in any way for this post. Media from Walt Disney Studios and Youtube.