Nora Lee Mandel on Queen of Katwe Dec 2, 2016 7:24:54 GMT -5
Post by on Dec 2, 2016 7:24:54 GMT -5
Queen of Katwe
In her mavensnest.net review (Sept. 2016) of Queen of Katwe the film about a young Ugandan chess player set in Uganda, Nora Lee Mandel opens with the line,
“Queen of Katwe is a triumphant celebration of the mind of a person in a place the world usually does not credit for intellectual mastery. The real person is a girl, the place is in East Africa, and her brain vaults a test that every colonialist would have admired – the game of chess.”
Mandel then takes a gratuitous swipe at Christianity never mind that Mutesi’s story only panned out as it did after the intervention of Katende, a Christian missionary who taught her chess because he was a Christian. Had the shoe been on the other foot, the outcry would have been legendary.
Nora Lee is obviously not acquainted with Makerere University or the constitutional monarchy that existed in Buganda before they had it in Europe, or the E.N.T. procedure pioneered by Professor Ssali, or Dr Ssekabunga’s illustrious career as a student at Guy’s Hospital. She will not know of Kwatsi Alibaruho a Ugandan Flight Director for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
I was about to google these and many more when I remembered the words of Toni Morrison, "[K]now the function, the very serious function of racism, which is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and so you spend 20 years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says that you have no art so you dredge that up. Somebody says that you have no kingdoms and so you dredge that up. None of that is necessary. There will always be one more thing."