A United Kingdom
Director: Amma Asante
Running Time: 111 minutes
Essential viewing, A United Kingdom is a slice of neglected post-war history, a true story of love triumphing over prejudice and a reminder of how much further we still have to go in the fight for equality.
Part sumptuous costume drama; part expose on the evils of colonialism, Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom tells the real story of Seretse Khama, an African Prince and future President of Bechuanaland (now Botswana). A law student in London in 1947, Seretse meets and falls in love with Ruth, a young bank clerk. The couple’s eventual marriage is greeted first, predictably, with familial disapproval, and later, more unexpectedly, governmental objection. Seretse’s kingdom borders South Africa, where the newly established apartheid laws would be undermined should neighboring Bechanaland be ruled by a high profile mixed-race couple. South Africa tries to coerce Britain to put an end to the union and Seretse and Ruth’s love is put under unbelievable duress.