A United Kingdom is a powerful portrayal of the enduring love story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana) and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947. Acclaimed director Amma Asante creates an impassioned, elegant drama which reveals a shocking window on British race relations and imperial politics. When the erudite Seretse meets independent-minded Ruth at a London dance, there is an immediate spark. Ignoring fierce opposition from friends and family, they plunge into a whirlwind romance and soon marry. Reality hits, however, when Seretse returns to southern Africa with Ruth to take up his duties as King. Their inter-racial union is seen as a slap in the face to both apartheid South Africa and to the royal traditions of Seretse’s people. A diplomatic crisis escalates and the British Government sets out to drive the couple apart. Anchored by commanding performances from David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, Asante’s filmmaking savours the shifts between the subdued tones of London and the colour-saturated heat of Botswana. A film of enormous contemporary relevance, it celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression.
Director: Amma Asante
UK/Botswana, 2016, 112 mins, English with some subtitles, 12A
£9.00 full / £6.50 concessions / £4.50 24 & under