A United Kingdom is not just one of the best true love stories ever told but it’s the tale of a too long-forgotten and shameful chapter of British history.
Director Amma Asante and screenwriter Guy Hibbert, helped by lead actors Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo are able to present this amazing story in a sharp and clever way.
David Oyelowo is Seretse Khama, a black boy, prince of Botswana ( Bechuanaland back then) studying law in London in 1947. He falls in love with a white typist, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). They get married and moved to Botswana that was, in that period, a British protectorate.
But things went from bad to worse: Khama’s people were suspicious of a white Queen while British government in Bechuanaland were terrified that South Africa could see that marriage as an opportunity to leave the Commonwealth dispossessing Britain of its minerals and gold resources.
And it’s here that Jack Davenport as Sir Alistair Canning ( a fictional civil servant married on screen with Oyelowo’s real life wife Jessica) and Tom Felton, yes Mr Draco Malfoy himself, as Rufus Lancaster (Canning’s sidekick) nearly steal the scene from the two lead actors doing everything in their possibilities to destroy the happy couple.
In the cast, as Westminster Left’s conscience Tony Benn, also the extraordinary Scottish talent Jack Lowden ( ’71 and soon in Nolan’s masterpiece Dunkirk and as Patrick Morrissey in biopic England is Mine).
For sure a great choose to open the 60th BFI London Film Festival.
“Now you’ll see how an empire defends itself Mr Khama” (Alistair)
STARS: ♠♠♠ 1/2
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Uk release 25th November 2016