On February 2, producer John B. Carls joined the Saint Mary School 7th and 8th grade students for a discussion about his feature film, Disney’s “Queen of Katwe.” The students watched the film in religion class to explore the story’s references to social justice issues and the social and cultural implications of a life spent in poverty in Uganda. The film tells a story based on the life of a young Ugandan girl’s journey into becoming a chess protégée. The lessons of perseverance, grit, integrity, and the importance of family (blood relation or otherwise) resonated well with the students and is in full alignment with the Gospel message and the Schoolwide Learning Expectations of a Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception School graduate to be a person of compassion, who contributes to his or her own learning and the learning of others, and who fosters a connection with the global community.
Carls spoke of his experience filming in Uganda and South Africa and how he found the people, particularly in the slums of Katwe, filled with joy and wonder despite the hardships and challenges of life in an underdeveloped society.
In addition, Carls, who also produced the movies “Rango” and “Where the Wild Things Are,” is uncle to 7th grade student, Henry.