Studiocanal, the leading French production and distribution company and the brain behind films such as Terminator 2, are developing an epic series about a formidable female army in 19th century Africa.
According to Variety, the eight-part series, titled Agoodjie is in English and based on a true story of Dahomey’s Agoodjie, an elite warrior class of women fighters who took on the French army in the 19th century. The series is about Tiwa, a village girl who joins the army to fight for what is dearest to her. The series is commissioned by Canal+ International and co-developed with Studiocanal.
The project is co-created by Jude Idada, Ukamaka Olisakwe, and Adachioma Ezeano, alongside Didier Lacoste (“Guyane,” “Spin”) and Joy Fleury (“Tristesse et beauté”).
Idada, who is also a filmmaker, is the author of the novel Boom Boom, which won the coveted NLNG Prize for Literature. Olisakwe’s celebrated novel Ogadinma won the SprinNG Women Author’s Prize. Ezeano won the prestigious O’Henry prize for her short story “Becoming the Baby Girl.”
According to the series description:
The story is based on the sprawling true story of a fearsome female army in 19th century Africa called the Agoodjies of Dahomey. An elite corps of 4,000 fearsome female warriors, the Agoodjes confronted the most powerful French army of the time in a four-year war.
The show will weave the points of view of a young female villager destined for greater things, and an enlightened monarch leading a once wealthy kingdom. Opening in 1889, the series will follow the journey of the female protagonist, Tiwa, a teenager on the verge of adulthood from the Yoruba Kingdom. As war rips Tiwa away from the love of her life, family and home, her moral compass is pushed to the brink. Initiated into the Agoodjie army, Tiwa soon proves she has special fighting capabilities and we begin to question the role of sanctuary and divergence her new family provides.
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