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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

The house used as Ruth & Seretse's home in the film was the home of the real Ruth & Seretse. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in MsMojo: Top 10 Anticipated Releases of February 2017 (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
See more »

User Reviews

 
Can love triumph over prejudice?
12 March 2017 | by Red-125See all my reviews

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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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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