Friday, October 13, 2017

Does she belong in the slum?

My wife and I really enjoyed watching the movie, Queen of Katwe. It is based on the true story of a young Ugandan woman, Phiona Mutesi. She becomes a national chess champion while growing up in a slum.

I first heard of the movie after a story about Phiona appeared on the front page of the Seattle Times. Then a friend who works in a slum in Africa said he watched it with a group of local children to inspire them. Less than a week later my daughter independently recommended it.

The movie does a beautiful job of capturing many things.

The tragic daily grind and challenge of living in a poor family.... homelessness... debt... prostitution... disease... accidents... filth... floods... widowhood... no education.... lack of hope..

The "atmosphere" and imagery of a slum. This brought back memories of some of my limited experiences in South Asia.

The value of mentoring and role models.

Teaching chess to slum children teaches so much more. Here there are similarities to another movie and true story.

How human dignity transcends economic circumstance, family background, and street address.

To me, an important thing to remember is that the life depicted in the slum is what about one billion people experience.

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