FQ columnist Rebecca Wanzo never expected to see Hollywood produce a film like The Woman King (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2022), an action film led by a dark-skinned Black woman in her fifties, starring other Black women, and focused on the intimacy between them. In this column, Wanzo explores The Woman King’s radical depiction of real Black women’s bodies experiencing the erotic as power—an idea borrowed from the Black feminist lesbian poet Audre Lorde—in a Hollywood action film. In its difference, The Woman King highlights the ironic lack of embodiment and limited sensory palate offered by so many action films and reimagines the genre’s possibilities for cinematic pleasure.
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