Queen of Katwe






(Mira Nair, 2016) BBC Two, 10am This unashamedly upbeat African success story traces the triumphant real-life progress of Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi, starting from an impoverished childhood in Kampala. Newcomer Madina Nalwanga has a rueful, quiet appeal as Phiona, Lupita Nyong’o is affecting as the tough mother keeping an embattled family together, and David Oyelowo is slyly charismatic as the committed coach who guides Phiona and a group of other kids through their struggles. As feelgood stories of empowerment go, Mira Nair’s film has a ring of authenticity and mixes intelligence with emotional immediacy. When the actors meet the real-life originals in the end credits, that lump in your throat will become a mountain.