Trailers2019Coming SoonHorrorCrime filmsDramaTrailerInterviewBritish Gangster FilmComedyPodcastCrimeBritFlicks PodcastFilm ReviewMay 2019British Gangster FilmsJune 2019March 2019Stuart WrightBehind The ScenesCrime filmNew ReleasesBTSFebruary 2019Film TrailerReviewBritflicksDocumentaryHorror moviesApril 2019Film trailersIndie filmLatest UK film newsOnce Upon a Time in LondonThrillerFrightFestLatest film trailersREDCON-1January 2019Sci-fi5 Great British horror filmsAction MovieBritflixTerry Stone2018Hereford filmsJuly 2019ZombiesBritish filmJonathan SothcottMysteryScifi2017CRUCIBLE OF THE VAMPIREEssex boysSimon RumleyBENJAMINFrightFest PresentsGangsterLeo GregoryLGBTOutlawedTHE INTENT 2: THE COME UPTHE ISLEUK filmUK film news2015ArthouseChee Keong CheungHorror filmRISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIERRoad MovieRomanceThe KraysTony DenhamUrban FilmBentley KaluBoxingCraig FairbrassFamily FilmFantasyFilm clipFrightFest 2017George RussoGOD'S OWN COUNTRYGreen Street HooligansJoe EganJosh MyersLondonLondon crimeMichael McKellNick MoranOBEYPeriod DramaPodcastsReviewsSOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVERTHE FOOTBALL FACTORYWe Still Kill The Old Way201120132014303 Squadron90 MINUTESA YOUNG MAN WITH HIGH POTENTIALActionAdam DeaconAlice LoweAmazon PrimeAnimationANNA AND THE APOCALYPSEAshley ChinBilly HillBiographyBonded By Blood 2BritFlicksExtraCassDAGENHAMDani DyerDylan DuffusEaten By LionsFemi OyeniranFootball hooligansFrightFest 2019Gloves OffGOD’S OWN COUNTRYGreg HallI LOVE MY MUMIn ProductionJamie ForemanJason WingardJessica-Jane StaffordKierston WareingNicky Slimting WalkerOLD BOYSOut NowPhoebe Robinson-GalvinPossumPsychological thrillerRevenge MovieRoland ManookianRom ComSMALL TOWN HEROSothcottTHE CORRUPTEDTHE HAUNTING OF BORLEY RECTORYThe Hooligan FactoryTHE INTENT 2 THE COME UPTHE RIZEN: POSSESSIONThe Wicker Man (1973)TOP DOGU.S MovieUrbanVIDEOMANWar Film201624 LITTLE HOURS606 DISTRIBUTION9 SongsABATEMENTACCEPTABLE DAMAGEAction moviesAdulthoodAFTER THE SCREAMING STOPSAlan FordAlana WallaceAlberto SciammaAll The Devil's MenAll Things to All MenAndrew HulmeAndy BeckwithAngela DixonAnna ChancellorAurora Fearnley​AutomataAVENGEMENTAWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONSBEATSBen DoverBen ShockleyBenjamin JohnsBEYOND THE WOODSBill NighyBLACK SITEBONDED BY BLOOD 2Brad MooreBREAKING HABITSBritFlickBritish urban filmBritsh gangster filmBronsonBURNING MENCarl HunterClimaxCLUED UPColin MorganComingCOMMUNIONCompetitionCREATION STORIESDamson IdrisDarren BoltonDavid GyasiDavid JacksonDead FredDEAD RINGERDEANNA DEWEYDIVISION 19DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?Dom LenoirDominic BrigstockeEwen BremnerExploitationEYES AND PRIZEFilm ReviewsFrankie FraserFreddie ForemanFREEDOM FIELDSFRIGHTFEST: BENEATH THE DARK HEART OF CINEMAFUBARGANGSTER NO. 1Gary RogersGemma ArtertonGet CarterGhettsGoreGRACIEHannah ArtertonHellraiserHeretiksHistorical dramaHOBBES HOUSEHooligan FilmsHooligansHorrible Histories: The MovieHorror movieHow to get your film into a film festivalIn BrugesInterviewsJack Spot ComerJeremy WoodingJessie BuckleyJodie WhittakerJohnny VivashJon CamplingJuliane BlockKevin LeslieKidulthoodKILLER WEEKENDKING OF CRIMEKris JohnsonLarry SmithLAST SUMMERLavinia SiminaLenny McLeanLIFECHANGERLock Stock & Two Smoking BarrelsLondon Crime movieLONDON HEISTLONDON UNPLUGGEDLorraine StanleyLucy PinderMark HarrisMartin KempMatt MitchellMcVicarMhairi CalveyMunro FilmsMusicMusicalMY DAYS OF MERCYMy Name Is LennyNO EASY DAYSPaul HyettPaul KnightPhilipp HummPiggyPOINT OF DEATHPolterheistPOND LIFEPornPULSARREDWOODROBERT THE BRUCERon ScalpelloRUPERT, RUPERT & RUPERTSam RileySamantha SchnitzlerSCI-FI LondonScumSexy BeastShortSignature EntertainmentSimon AmstellSMOKING GUNSSnatchST GEORGE'S DAYSteve OramSteven BerkoffSteven NesbitSTRIKETEDDY PENDERGRASS: IF YOU DON'T KNOW METhe Bank JobThe Blazing CannonsThe BusinessTHE CURSE OF HOBBES HOUSEThe Devil OutsideTHE DEVIL'S DOORWAYTHE EXORCISM OF KAREN WALKERTHE FLOODThe Italian JobTHE LAST FAUSTThe Long Good FridayTHE MEDICINE BUDDHAThe Rise & Fall of a White Collar HooliganToby OsmondTom PatonTom SandsTommy FrenchTURNOUTTWO FOR JOYTwo GravesUrban FilmsVideoWe Still Steal The Old WayWelsh FilmWINTERLONGWW2#Britflix100 STREETS13 GRAVES16mm1828 Days Later28 Days Later (2002)3 LIVES35mm4.3.2.1.5 Great British X-Rated Films51 Degrees North70's8 MINUTES IDLEA BLUEBIRD IN MY HEARTA CHANGE IN THE WEATHERA CLOCKWORK ORANGEA Dangerous GameA DARK REFLECTIONA Dark SongA DEAL WITH THE UNIVERSEA DOZEN SUMMERSA FIELD IN ENGLANDA GOOD WOMAN IS HARD TO FINDA LITTLE CHAOSA LONG WAY FROM HOMEA LOVE THAT NEVER DIESA PRIVATE WARA QUIET PASSIONA Room to Die ForA SENSE OF FREEDOMA THOUSAND KISSES DEEPA UNITED KINGDOMA WEDDING MOST STRANGEAAAAAAAAH!Aaaaaaaah! (2015)ABOUT TIMEABOVE THE CLOUDSAbracadaver! (2008)Adam WingardAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeAdrian EdmondsonADULT LIFE SKILLSADVENTURE BOYZAFTER THE LETHARGYAFTERDEATHAGAINST THE TIDESAGE OF KILLAislinn ClarkeAki OmoshaybiAlan CoulsonALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPAAlan RickmanALBATROSSALBERT NOBBSAlejandro Montoya MarinAlex HassellAlex LawtherAlex ParkinsonAlexa DalbyAlexei SayleALL STARSAltitude Film EntertainmentAmanda DonohoeAmar AdatiaAmazon Prime VideoAmma AsanteAndrew LovedayAneurin BarnardAngus ImrieAngus MacfadyenANNA AND THE APOCALYPSAnthology filmAnthony BaxterAnthony WoodleyAntonio AakeelApril 2017ARIFAArrow VideoArrow Video FrightFest 2019Arsher AliARTIST DEPICTIONArtsploitation FilmsASHESAsim ChaudhryAsteroid DayASTRONAUTATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIESAugust 2016AwaydaysAXCELLERATOR​AFTER WE LEAVE​ALIEN ADDICTION​LAST BREATH​SHED OF THE DEAD​THE BLAZING CANNONSBAD SAMARITANBaitBankside FilmsBattle of BritainBEING FRANK - THE CHRIS SIEVEY STORYBella RamseyBen GregorBen KentBen WheatleyBereavementBerlinaleBernard O'MahoneyBernard O’MahoneyBest British FilmsBest British Horror MoviesBest horror moviesBETTER WATCH OUTBEYOND EXISTENCEBig BrotherBig Fat Gypsy GangsterBill BuckhurstBill FellowsBillie PiperBjörn RungeBLACK FLOWERSBLACK MASSBlind Terror (1971)BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW (1971)Bob GoodyBODIEDBONDED BY BLOODBOOTS ON THE GROUNDBOYS ON FILM 19BRAIDBrandon ChristensenBreakdownBrian BlessedBrian CroucherBrian WelshBrides of Dracula (1960)Brighton RockBritflicks ExtraBritflicks Extra interviewBritflicks PBritish Asian FilmBritish crime filmBritish HorrorBritish Horror FilmsBRITISH MADEBritish MusicalsBulldog Film DistributionCallan AllenCAMCam girlCANNIBALS & CARPET FITTERSCara TheoboldCarlton LeachCarmen SilvaCarnaby FilmsCARNIVORE - WEREWOLF OF LONDONCatherine BaileyCatherine CorcoranCatherine GrayCatherine SteadmanCatherine WalkerChanya ButtonCHARISMATACharles dickensCharles GarradCHARLIECHASING EINSTEINChildren’s AdventureChris CollierChris FogginChris GreenChris MulChris PeckoverChris RankinChristopher EcclestonChristopher EllisonChristopher MarloweCIDICCinEventsCliffhangerClive BarkerCLUBBEDCOLD-BLOODED KILLERSColm MeaneyCOME TO DADDYComiCominComing of AgeConleth HillConnor BennCordelia BugejaCraig rolfeCristian OrtegaCRYSTAL’S SHADOWCULT OF CHUCKYCurse of the Demon (1957)Cynthia NixonDADDY'S GIRLDaisy KeepingDamien MorleyDan StrangeDana LustigDanceDANGEROUS MIND OF A HOOLIGANDani ThompsonDaniel CraigDaniel FitzsimmonDaniel GoldhaberDaniel MaysDaniel ZirilliDanielle HaroldDanny BoyleDanny MidwinterDanny YoungDarwin ShawDavid BradleyDavid BryantDavid G MahoneyDavid HastingsDavid McGillivrayDavid O'HaraDavid OyelowoDavid WildeDEAD ANTDEAD IN A WEEKDEAD IN A WEEK (Or Your Money Back!)Dead of Night (1945)Dean MaskellDEATH NOTEDEATHGASM (HEAVY METAL APOCALYPSE) PART 2December 2014December 2018Declan LowneyDEFECTORDEMON EYEDenise Van OutenDESTINATION: DEWSBURYDevanand ShanmugamDilan JayDOLLMAKERSDominic KeatingDonald TrumpDOOZYDoug AllenDouglas KingDown TerraceDr Sorcha Ni FhlainnDrag QueensDRAGONFLIES ONLY LIVE FOR 24 HOURSDRAVENDrew BarnhardtDrew BoltonDrew CullinghamDystopiaEATING ANIMALSEcstasyEd HayterEd SpeleersEddie HearnEfim PetruninEIFFElarica JohnsonEleanor Worthington-CoxElinor CrawleyElizabeth DebickiElizabeth MorrisElla HuntEllie KendrickEmilia ClarkeEmilia FoxEmilia JonesEmily WyattErik BloomquistErik NelsonErotic CinemaErotic thrillerEsmè Creed-MilesESSEX BOY: LAST MAN STANDINGEuropean CinemaEVEEvolutionary FilmsEvolutionary Films.Ewan MulliganEwen MacintoshExcorcismExperimentalF.U.B.A.RFabrizio FedericoFamily MoviesFanny ArdantFARMINGFEAR THE INVISIBLE MANFeaturetteFebruary 2014February 2015FekkyFelicity JonesFEVERFilm festivalFilm Festival StrategyFilm NewsFilm PosterFilm RFinal ScoreFiona SkinnerFISHERMAN’S FRIENDSFizz & ginger filmsFlorence CadyFONOTUNE: AN ELECTRIC FAIRYTALEFootballFootball FactoryFOR LOVE OR MONEYFound footageFragments Film festival 2019Franck RibiereFrank DillaneFrank SidebottomFrankenstein & the Monster From HellFREDFREDDIE FORMANFRESH BLOODFreya MavorGabriel ByrneGANGSTAGANGSTER NO 1 THE FREDDIE FOREMAN STORYGANGSTER NO.1 THE FREDDIE FOREMAN STORYGangster No1GangsterfilmGary CargillGary WebsterGaspar NoeGavin BaddeleyGbenga AkinnagbeGenesis CinemaGeoff BellGeorge IsaacGethin AnthonyGez MedingerGHOSTWATCHGhostwatch (1992)GialloGiles AldersonGlenn CloseGlenn SalvageGOING OFF BIG TIMEGorgo (1961)GothicGraham HumphreysGriefGrigorij RichtersGrimFest FilmsGrimmFestGRIMMFEST 2019GRIMMFEST FILMSGrindhouseGrindhouse cinemaGUARDIANSGugu Mbatha-RawGuy Ratchanon SuprakobGWENHANNAHHARDCORE GUARANTEEDHarris DickinsonHARRY BROWNHARVEST OF THE DEAD: HALLOWEEN NIGHTHECKLEHellraiser (1987)Henry DouthwaiteHISTORIES: THE MOVIE – ROTTEN ROMANSHit MenHOLLOW POINTHome InvasionHomo-eroticHOOLIGAN ESCAPEHororHORRIBLE HISTORIES THE MOVIE – ROTTEN ROMANSHorror channelHorror of Dracula (1958)HOSPICEHoward J. FordI Don't Want To Be Born (aka Sharon's Baby) (1975)I.DI.D.Iain CunninghamIain GlenIain Ross-McNameeIan HartIan MacmillianIan OgilvyIbiza UndeadIdris ElbaILL MANORSINCIDENT IN A GHOSTLANDIndican PicturesIndie film newsIndie FilmmakersIRENE'S GHOSTIrvine WelshIsabelle AllenIvanno JeremiahJack CarrollJack SpotJack SpringJaime WinstoneJamaicaJames BondJames FoxJames KnappJames LanceJamie NoelJane Alexander FosterJane Alexandra FosterJane AsherJane FosterJane HarrisJared HarrisJason FlemyngJELLYFISHJennifer EhleJennifer LeaheyJenny AgutterJenny LuJeremie GuezJesse V. JohnsonJessica Brown FindlayJessica HynesJim O'HanlonJimmy EdmondsJo MorrisJoanna May ParkerJodhi May,Joel Francis-WilliamsJohn LangridgeJohnny KevorkianJohnny PalmieroJohnny VegasJon JonesJon SandersJonathan HanslerJonathan RaggettJosie LongJulian RichardsJune 2015Justin McConnellKaleidoscope Home EntertainmentKane HodderKAPITALKate BeckinsaleKate BraithwaiteKate JamesKate WinsletKATIEKatie CollinsKatie GoldfinchKatie TaylorKemal YildirimKen StottKenton HallKhamba Lama NatsagdorjKILLER UNICORNKILLING LIONELKim CattrallKINDREDKING OF THIEVESKirsty AvertonKNIFE HEARTKnife Nicolas MauryKrept & KonanKris JonsonLacey BondLance S A NielsenLAST BREATHLAST MAN STANDINGLAST SUNRISELatestLauren SochaLawrie BrewsterLAYER CAKELayer CakerLee CroninLee McGeoughLena HeadeyLeon ChambersLET ME COUNT THE WAYSLiam GavinLIE LOWLIFE AFTER FLASHLIFE OF BRIANLindsay HoneyLinus de PaoliLITTLE DID YOU KNOWLizzie Waterworth-SantoLOCO London Comedy Film festival 2019Loft FilmsLondon to BrightonLONG LOSTLoren PetaLorn MacdonaldLost Eye EntertainmentLouis MandylorLove Honour and ObeyLOVE, HONOR AND OBEYLOWLIFELUCIDLuke GossLynda ReissLyndsey HoneyLysette AnthonyMadeline BrewerMAJICMAKE YOUR FILMMarc BannermanMarch 2018Marcia Do ValesMARIMarina SirtisMario CovoneMark A.C. BrownMark HeapMark JenkinMark MurphyMark NoyceMark Simon HewisMARKED FOR DEATHMartin DelaneyMartyn PickMASTERS OF LOVEMatchroom SportMatt GambellMatt HolnessMatt ShawMatthew Butler-HartMaxine PeakeME, MYSELF AND DIMEAN MACHINEMeret BeckerMETAL HEARTMichael BerrymanMichael J FreemanMike BeckinghamMilo GibsonMiranda RaisonMirth WalthamstowMitch JenkinsMobstersMockumentaryMol SmithMondayMongoliaMONSTERMonstersMonty Python’s Life of BrianMuscleMusic in filmMust see british crime filmsMust See British FilmsMust See UK MoviesMy Little EyeMY SAVIOURMy Spotlight IndependentNatalie DormerNational Film Awards 2019NativeNaziha ArebiNeal WardNeil JonesNeil MarshallNeil MorrisseyNewNewsNia RobertsNiall MacCormickNick FrostNick NevernNicky HensonNigel BennNoel ClarkeNoor LawsonNovember 2019OF TIME AND SEAOfficial trailerOliver CaneOlivia LichtensteinONE CUT OF THE DEADOphelia LovibondOVERTIMEPARATROOPERPAST LIFEPat TatePATH OF BLOODPaul BarberPaul MarlonPaul TerryPayback SeasonPEEPING TOMPERFECTPERFECT SKINPERIPHERALPerry BensonPeter GoddardPeter SantPhats & SmallPhénix BrossardPhilip JacksonPierre MascoloPodactsPolish airmanPolly TregearPollyanna McIntoshPornographyPostcards From LondonPostpartum psychosisPretty BoyPrison FilmsPsychological horrorPulpPUSHERQ&AQueer CinemaRachel TunnardRachel ZeffiraRAFRashRave CultureRAY & LIZREADY TO GOER THINGSRebel Without A CrewRed Band TrailerRegents Street CinemaRELENTLESSRepulsion (1965)Ricci HarnettRichard BillinghamRichard ColtonRichard CurtisRichard da CostaRichard DreyfusRichard GrayRichard HarringtonRichard SquiresRicky TomlinsonRISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER 2RISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER 3 - The Pat Tate StoryRISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER 4: MARBELLARISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER PART IIRISE OF THE FOOTSOLDIER: THE PAT TATE STORYRita SimonsRob RyanRobert KazinskyRobert RodriguezRobert WilfortRobin SchmidtROCKETMANRodeo StrangeRodrigo GarcíaROMANTIC COMEDYRONDORosamund PikeRosie DayRoss BoyaskRoss WhitakerRufus SewellRupert EverettRupert GravesRussian FilmRyan SimonsSacha BennetSacha BennettSadia SaeedSally PhillipsSam ClaflinSam GittinsSam StrikeSamantha BarksSamantha FieldsSamantha MortonSandra DickinsonSandy BatchelorSara ParkerSavvas D. MichaelSchuman HoqueSCOTCH: THE GOLDEN DRAMScotlandScott AdkinsScottishScream PrincessSean BiggerstaffSean BirchSean BothaSebastian CroftSEEPERSSEEPERS: A LOVE STORYSeptember 2017September 2019Serial KillerSeth A. SmithSex WorkerSexploitationSharni Tapako-BrownSharon Duncan-BrewsterShaun DooleyShaun Of The DeadShaun WilliamsonShayne WardShed of the Dead,Shelagh McLeodShermin HassanSHINERSHOOTERSSian BrookeSimon CassidySimon RickardsSimon WeirSINKSir Ben Kingsley,SkinheadsSmack EddSocial realismSophie AustinSopranoSOUTH LONDON’S FINEST​SpitfireSpoofSSDD: SAME SHIT DIFFERENT DAYSTAIRSStanley KubrickSTARFISHSTARRED UPSTEEL COUNTRYSteffan RhodriStephen BradySteve CooganSteve GuttenbergSteve McLeanSteve StoneSteve SullivanSteve WraithSteven Berkoff.Steven M. SmithSteven MurphySTILL/BORNStow Film LoungeStu BennettSTYXSuki WaterhouseSuper NovemberSUSTAINSuzie HalewoodSvyatoslav PodgaevskiySylvia HoeksTEDDY BEARS LIVE FOREVERTEEN SPIRITTerence DaviesTeresa DaleyTERRIFIEDTHE 51st STATETHE BEASTTHE BLACKENINGTHE CHAIR TO EVERYWHERETHE CLEANING LADYTHE COLD BLUETHE COMPANY OF WOLVESThe ConventTHE COURIERThe DescentThe Devils (1971)The EscapistTHE FALL OF THE ESSEX BOYSTHE FIELD GUIDE TO EVILTHE FIGHTThe Filmmakers’ Legal GuideTHE FINAL LANDThe FirmTHE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO WEREWOLF MOVIESThe Gold Movie Awards 2019THE GREAT CHARADEThe Guv'norTHE GUVNORSTHE HAPPY PRINCETHE HOLE IN THE GROUNDTHE HOLLY KANE EXPERIMENTThe House that Bled to DeathTHE INTENTTHE INTENT 2THE KEEPERTHE KRAYS 2: MARKED FOR DEATHThe London Horror SocietyTHE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMASTHE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOTTHE MARKERTHE MERMAID: LAKE OF THE DEADTHE MOST ASSASSINATED WOMAN IN THE WORLDTHE NIGHT SITTERThe OmenThe PlagueTHE POINT OF NO RETURNTHE RECEPTIONISTTHE REDEEMINGTHE RISETHE RIZEN POSSESSIONTHE RUSALKATHE SEVENTHE SHOWTHE SOCIAL MODELTHE TANGLETHE TERROR OF HALLOWS EVETHE TRICYCLE THIEFTHE WEE MANTheatre of Blood! (1973)ThillerThinkSyncThomas TurgooseThreads (1984)Three Wise MonkeysThunderbird ReleasingTidesTiffany-Ellen RobinsonTIGERS ARE NOT AFRAIDTim FaradayTim McInnernyTim ThorneTIME TO DIETime TravelTimothy SpallTobi BakareToby MacDonaldTodd TuckerTom BeardTom ContiTom EdmundsTom SizemoreTom VareyTom WIlkinsonTony FadilTony MorrisTony TuckerTony WayTop 10 TrailerTop 10 TrailersTop Indie Film TrailersTotal Works of ArtToyah WillcoxTrafalgar ReleasingTRAFFICKERTRAPPERSTrevor GarlickTrevor HardyTRIANGLETristan LoraineTUCKEDTWO GUNNED SAINTTyger Drew HoneyTyne RobertsUK HorrorUnder The Skin (2013)Undercover HooliganUPGRADEVanessa GrasseVanessa ParadisVas BlackwoodVault of HorrorVelox EntVENDETTAVENGEANCE 2VigilanteViktoriya AgalakovaVinnie JonesVirginia GilbertVITA & VIRGINIAVsVS,WAITING FOR YOUWe Still Die The Old WayWE’RE ALL A BIT LIKE LILLYWeb SeriesWendy MitchellWerewolfWHITE CHAMBERWHITE COLLAR HOOLIGAN 2: ENGLAND AWAYWild BillWILD ROSEWilliam FichtnerWilliam McGregorWinter RidgeWITCHBOARDWorld CinemaX-Rated FilmsYardiesYEASTERDAYZackary AdlerZimbiesZOE AND THE ASTRONAUTZOO HEADZOO-HEAD
TAGS

A UNITED KINGDOM Film Review

Amma Asante's A UNITED KINGDOM film review

Directed by Amma Asante

Genre: Biography - Drama - Romance 

The European Premiere of A UNITED KINGDOM, director Amma Asante's wonderful, moving evocation of an interracial love story that threatened the British Empire is the first by a black woman director to be the Opening Gala of the BFI London Film Festival.

The popularity of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books and TV series has created a cosy image of Botswana as a prosperous, stable democracy. But Amma Asante’s ironically titled A UNITED KINGDOM, based on Susan Williams’ book Colour Bar, tells the true story of how the then British protectorate of Bechuanaland became independent Botswana because of a very moving interracial love story that threatened to break up the British Empire and ended up with a new country being founded.

The film starts in 1947, when Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a brilliant African law student in London, met Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white English clerical worker from Eltham in south London, at a Missionary Society Dance and they fall in love. What he didn’t tell her until later was that he was a prince and the future king of Bechuanaland.

When he is recalled home to take up his responsibilities and lead his people, he and Ruth plan to marry and return together, despite hostility from both their families to the union. However, the British government intervenes. His country was a British protectorate and under British rule in a way that is hard for us to comprehend now. The problem for Britain is that South Africa is about to introduce apartheid. Its government sees an interracial relationship in its tiny neighbour as damaging and it threatens to withdraw the gold and uranium it supplies to poverty-stricken postwar Britain. As a result, out of self-interest the British government forbids the marriage and, when that fails to deter the couple, who are deeply in love, it sanctions Seretse and Ruth Khama in every way it can. But the British establishment has underestimated the strength that their love gives them.

Asante’s film is the story of the deep love between two people that enables them to overcome personal and political opposition. Seretse suffers racial prejudice in London and Ruth experiences it in Bechuanaland – her new royal relatives are hostile and say the country cannot accept a white queen. But she embraces her new life with an open mind and together she and Seretse overcome both racial prejudice and the duplicity of the last throes of British colonialism, which seeks to remove Seretse from leadership. It’s also about love for a country and a people. Seretse’s assertion that he cannot fulfil his role without the support of the woman he loves is reminiscent of the speech of Britain's Edward VIII, though the two men and their handling of similar situations could not be more different.

Cruelly banished by Britain from his country for years, separated from Ruth and his newborn daughter who remained as hostages in Botswana, in the end he outwitted Britain by renouncing his royalty in order to institute a new democratic system which gave his people control over their country and eventually Independence in 1966. He became its first prime minister and is revered to this day. In resisting the British government, he is helped by MPs Tony Benn (Jack Lowden) and Fenner Brockway. 

David Oyelowo, because of whose persistence the project eventually got made, is outstanding as Khama – sensitive in his love for Ruth, majestic and inspirational in his visionary speeches to his people calling on the power of democracy in contrast to the oppression of British rule and in advocating for freedom and equality on the BBC, building on his portrayal of Martin Luther King in Selma. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) is enchanting as Ruth – lively yet also brave, fearless and loyal in sacrificing everything for love and adapting to life in a strange new country. Once there she grows in strength and determination, even driving herself to the local hospital in a pick-up truck while about to give birth. Together Seretse and Ruth have a shared love of life, dancing, jazz and a shared sense of humour and the ability to laugh at hardships – and a combined determination that changed the world.  

The Spartan postwar period in London is beautifully created by Asante with foggy, dark exteriors where it seems to be always raining, and gloomy, dingy sitting rooms and chilly bedrooms. Ruth’s parents (Nicholas Lyndhurst and Anastasia Hille) are a typical lower-middle class family of the time but her sister Muriel (Laura Carmichael, Madame Bovary) is supportive of the lovers.

The representatives of the British government, though expressing attitudes typical of the time, now seem almost like pantomime villains. Jack Davenport (Americana) as Sir Alistair Canning, who has responsibility for Southern Africa, is the chief bully and enforcer. Jessia Oyelowo (David’s wife, Madame Bovary) is gratingly patronising as Canning’s wife Lady Lilly. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter) as Rufus Lancaster, the governor imposed on Bechuanaland, is horribly small minded and officious. Terry Pheto (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) is Seretse’s sister Naledi and his uncle, the regent, Tshekedi Khama is played by Vusi Kunene (The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency).

A UNITED KINGDOM opens out gloriously when it reaches its location in Botswana with wide shots of the sun-baked plains. You can feel the dust and the heat, see the contrast between round thatched houses and the people's poverty and the colonial club houses where Seretse is the only black person allowed, given a dispensation as a king, even though he is black. The cinematographer is Sam McCurdy and the screenwriter is Guy Hibbert. Overall, Asante’s film successfully balances the personal and the political, as in Asante's previous film BELLE, to create a very moving insight into an almost overlooked but crucial chapter that defined the recent history of two countries. 

View A UNITED KINGDOM on Amazon Prime Video

Alexa Dalby

alexa_dalby@yahoo.com



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT