A United Kingdom is a fantastic film. It highlights not only the power of love but more importantly the politics of apartheid. Great Britain was a lead player in Botswana’s apartheid history.
The film focuses on the relationship between the main characters: King of Bechuanaland (modern day Botswana) and London office worker, Ruth Williams and their love for each other. The couple married in 1948. However, it allows us to experience the harsh reality of racism in the 1940s. Their families and the people of their countries opposed the union. The marriage caused an international stir. The audience is taken on a candid journey into the racism that existed in Great Britain and South Africa.
David Oyelowo plays Sereta Khama, King of Bechuanaland, and he is stunning in the role. Rosamund Pike plays his wife Ruth Williams and gives a strong supporting performance. Their relationship is convincing.
History In The Making
Amma Asante, the black woman who directed Belle, also directed this film. A United Kingdom was the opening film for this year’s BFI London Film Festival. It is the first time the festival launched with film by a Black woman. Festival director Clare Stewart said ‘With our opening night choice we are always looking for a film that both tells a British story and enables us to establish a talking point that carries throughout the festival, [A United Kingdom] does all those things brilliantly.’
A United Kingdom and Brexit
David Oyelowo made a personal appearance at Stratford Picture House. During his talk, he said that a film such as A United Kingdom shows how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go. A United Kingdom is a movie about love, class, and race. In light of the Brexit aftermath, I urge everyone to go and see this film when it goes on general release next month.
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