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70 user 159 critic

A United Kingdom (2016)

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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 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
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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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Details

Country:

Czech Republic | UK | USA | France

Language:

Tswana | English

Release Date:

10 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Um Reino Unido 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,901,302, 19 May 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,819,139, 23 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Andrew Lloyd Webber had thought about doing a musical. See more »

Goofs

The Chevrolet that the prince and his new bride were travelling around in displayed faded paintwork, but at the time the event was taking place, it would have been a new car. See more »

Quotes

Seretse Khama: [From trailer] No man is free who is not master of himself.
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Connections

Featured in Conan: David Oyelowo/Louie Anderson/Angel Olsen (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Down South Camp Meeting
Lyrics and Music by Fletcher Henderson & Irving Mills
Perforrned by Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra
Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd
Licensed Courtesy of GRP Records Inc.
Under Licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd
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User Reviews

 
In To Africa.
9 December 2017 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

Directed by Amma Asante ("Belle") this is the true tale of a real-life fairy story, featuring a handsome prince and his love, who can never be his princess thanks to the Machiavellian scheming of court-do-gooders and bureaucrats. 

The prince in this case is Seretse Kham (David Oyelowo, "Selma") , heir to the throne of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), who meets and falls in love with a lowly white Lloyd's of London clerk Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl", "The World's End"). The plot has many parallels with that of another film from earlier this year:  "Loving" with Ruth Negga and Joel Egerton. As an inter-racial couple in 1947 this is taboo enough, but the fact that Kham is soon to be king in a country bordering the apartheid tinder-keg that is South Africa blows the affair up to be a diplomatic crisis.

Defying the officials he marries his true love, driving a wedge between both his own uncle (Vusi Kunene ) and sister (Terry Pheto) and making Ruth an outcast in both countries. As things turn from bad to worse, can true love conquer all their adversities?

Just everything about this film delights. Oyelowo and Pike - always a safe pair of hands - add real emotional depth to their roles. Their relationship feels natural and loving without either of them trying too hard. The estrangement of Ruth from her parents (particularly her father played by Nicholas Lyndhurst) is truly touching. 

Another star turn is Harry Potter alumni Tom Felton, playing Rufus Lancaster - a weaselly and very unpleasant local official. I have a prediction.... that in 30 year's time, the young Potter actor that will be the 'Ian McKellen of his day' (that is, a world recognized great actor... not necessarily gay!) will be Felton.  

Sam McCurdy ("The Descent") delivers cinematography of Africa that is vibrant (to be fair, for anyone lucky enough to visit Africa will know, cameras just love the place) and the John Barry-esque music by Patrick Doyle ("Murder on the Orient Express") is pitch perfect for the mood.

A beautifully crafted film that older viewers will just love. 

(For the graphical review, please visit http://bob-the-movie-man.com or One Mann's Moview on Facebook. Thanks).


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