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A United Kingdom (2016)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Amma Asante

Writers:

Guy Hibbert (screenplay by), Susan Williams (based upon the book 'Colour Bar' by)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Oyelowo ... Seretse Khama
Rosamund Pike ... Ruth Williams
Tom Felton ... Rufus Lancaster
Jack Davenport ... Sir Alistair Canning
Laura Carmichael ... Muriel Williams
Terry Pheto ... Naledi Khama
Jessica Oyelowo ... Lady Lilly Canning
Vusi Kunene ... Tshekedi Khama
Nicholas Lyndhurst ... George Williams
Arnold Oceng ... Charles
Anastasia Hille ... Dot Williams
Charlotte Hope ... Olivia Lancaster
Theo Landey ... Michael Nash
Abena Ayivor ... Ella Khama
Jack Lowden ... Tony Benn
Learn more

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Storyline

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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of a love that shook an empire.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language including racial epithets and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jazz swing favourite Adam Topliss has been cast in an undisclosed role. See more »

Goofs

When husband and wife arrive in the blue sedan at the Palapye Hotel, Rosamund Pike looks to her right and observes a man and woman being seated at a table outside the hotel. She then looks to her left and the same man and woman can be seen walking toward the hotel with a hotel porter carrying their bags. See more »

Quotes

Alistair Canning: [from the trailer] Now you'll see how an empire defends itself Mr Khama
See more »


Soundtracks

No Baby, No Nobody But You
Lyrics and Music by Seger Ellis
Performed by Stan Kenton and June Christy
Published by EMI United Partnership Ltd/EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Licensed Courtesy of Capitol Records Inc.
Under Licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd
See more »

User Reviews

 
A credit to all involved
17 November 2016 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

In the hands of a lesser director than the hugely talented Amma Asante, "A United Kingdom" might have been nothing more than another inter-racial romance cloaked in a veil of sickly sentimentality but, like "Belle" before it, this remarkable film works both as a genuinely moving love story but, more significantly, as a powerful political tract that draws attention to a very shameful period in recent British history with neither the Tory nor Labour governments coming out of it smelling of roses.

It is the story of Seretse Khama, heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, now Botswana, who, while a student in London, fell in love with and married Ruth Williams, English and, more crucially, white bringing her back to his homeland as his queen, much to the chagrin and disapproval of both the British and South African governments and his own people. However, like all good love stories, if not quite all fairy tales, Ruth's tenacity soon wins over the people of Bechuanaland while the jaundiced, racist government of the UK proves a somewhat greater obstacle.

The events portrayed in the film actually took place but until now haven't't been much discussed here in the UK. Even today inter-racial love stories can be unpopular and sadly racism remains a major issue that has yet to be eradicated. It is testament to both Seretse and to Ruth that their actions were finally instrumental in bringing democracy to Botswana with Seretse renouncing his kingship and becoming the first democratically elected president of his country.

In these roles both David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike are superb and there is sterling work from an outstanding supporting cast. If the feelgood factor seems at times a tad on the heavy side in Guy Hibbert's screenplay it is still heartening to see a movie about love and about race that is largely unsentimental and politically astute. It is also gorgeously shot by Sam McCurdy and is a credit to all involved.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Czech Republic | UK | France | USA

Language:

Tswana | English

Release Date:

10 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A United Kingdom See more »

Filming Locations:

Serowe, Botswana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,510, 12 February 2017

Gross USA:

$3,902,185

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,459,330
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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