From director Amma Asante (Belle), A United Kingdom is set to tell the true story of Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana, and the international incident that resulted from his marriage to a white woman from London in the late 1940s. David Oyelowo (Selma) plays Seretse Khama with Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as Ruth Williams Khana, the love interest in question.
In history, Khama was a chieftain of Botswana under British imperialism, whose marriage caused unease among his people. But the larger threat to his livelihood came from the neighboring South African government, whose practice of apartheid was being challenged. In the wake of WWII, Britain was unwilling to anger a major economic partner and gave in to pressure to exile Khama from his homeland. He would later return to become the first president of an independent Botswana.
The recently dropped trailer for A United Kingdom focuses largely on the romance between Seretse and Ruth, and appears to be told from both their perspectives. It’s unclear how long of a period the film will cover in Khama’s life, but the trailer focuses primarily on the late 40s political drama caused by their relationship.
While Amma Asante’s directorial works may not quite be on the public radar yet, her 2014 effort, Belle, was critically well received. That film also was a period piece with a focus on interracial relations and starred Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean) and Tom Felton (Harry Potter) who are both set to return for A United Kingdom. Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) and David Oyelowo’s real life spouse, Jessica Oyelowo (Alice in Wonderland) also have roles in the film.
With a rising director, a noteworthy cast, and themes of racial conflict and international strife that seem especially poignant during the current state of world events, A United Kingdom is certainly a film worth keeping an eye on. The film is still waiting for a U.S. release date but opens in the U.K. this fall. It will be the second female-directed film in a row to open the London Film Festival, which hits its 60th anniversary this year.
Be sure to share your thoughts on the trailer in the usual place, and stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates and impressions on A United Kingdom as they hit.
A United Kingdom opens in U.K. theaters on November 25, 2016, and at the Toronto International Film Festival, in Canada, September 9, 2016. The film has not yet scheduled a release in the United States.
Source: Film United