A United Kingdom
is a movie starring
David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, and Tom Felton.
The story of King Seretse Khama of Botswana and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.
In the late 1940s, Prince Seretse Khama of Bechuanaland is studying law in Britain in preparation for his eventual ascension to the throne. There, the dashing prince falls in love with a white British clerk, Ruth Williams, and they plan to marry. While they suspect that his uncle, the Regent, would disapprove, nothing prepares them for the diplomatic firestorm and domestic political tumult their defiant love would spark. Now facing a citizenry leery of a white Briton as their Queen, the international opposition is even more unyielding from the British holding their land as a protectorate and fearful of South Africa's racist backlash to this affront to their apartheid domination. Against all odds, King Khama and Ruth must struggle to maintain their love and help their people in a land that would become the Republic of Botswana.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The English film A United Kingdom (2016) was directed by Amma Asante. It's an interesting love story, based on real events. David Oyelowo plays Prince Seretse Khama, a young African man studying law in London. Rosamund Pike plays Ruth Williams, an intelligent, fun-loving civil servant. They fall in love, and we know that their marriage will be a difficult one, because of prejudice both in England and in Africa.
What we don't know is that their marriage has implications far beyond each of them. In 1947, South Africa was gearing up for its apartheid program. Bechuanaland was a British protectorate, and Seretse Khama was its rightful prince. However, South Africa borders Bechuanaland, and the South African government refused to tolerate a mixed race couple in a neighboring protectorate.
That meant that not only did Seretse and Ruth face prejudice from the people around them, but they were pawns in an international standoff in which Great Britain was willing to sacrifice them to appease South Africa. What happened next became the plot of the movie.
David Oyelowo is a superb actor. So is Rosamund Pike. Ms. Pike has 42 movie credits, but I believe the only other film in which I saw her was Pride and Prejudice (2005), in which she portrayed Jane Bennet. I reviewed that movie for IMDb, and wrote that her performance was "luminous."
Director Asante is skillful, and the acting and cinematography are wonderful. We saw the movie at the excellent Little Theatre in Rochester, NY. It won't work quite as well on the small screen, because the film has some breathtaking scenes of the African desert.
For some reason A United Kingdom has a dismal IMDb rating of 6.7. I don't understand this--it's much better than that. Find it and judge for yourself.
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