By Judy Garrison

Two irresistible movies about real life determined girls are not to be missed. Queen of Katwe, which was shown for our library’s April movie night, is a film for the whole family directed by Mira Nair, based on Tim Crothers’s book. It is the story of Phiona Mutesi, a shy but determined chess prodigy, who lives in a poor township outside of Kampala, Uganda. Despite her harsh circumstances we are fully taken with the people and their ways and are immersed in the particulars of the culture and place.

The Eagle Huntress, a film I happened to see the very next night (don’t be surprised if our library acquires it soon!), is a beautifully filmed documentary about Aishol-pan, a 13-year-old girl in Mongolia who trains to become the first female in 12 generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter. Even though the aged male hunters vehemently reject the idea of a female taking part in their tradition, she persists in her goal. Her father, who is her trainer and mentor, like Robert Katende, the youth minister in Kampala who is Phiona’s coach, believes a girl can do anything a boy can as long as she has the talent and is determined. These girls, with their self-contained charm and intent focus, are surely that!~