Pathe UK has released the first A United Kingdom trailer. The film is based on the true story of “Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), the king of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), the London office worker that he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.”
This looks like a fascinating story, and while it could get dragged down in saccharine elements of “the love that defied an empire”, there does seem to be a meaty character drama beneath the taglines. It looks like a story that approaches race, colonialism, and history through a unique lens, and I’m eager to see how director Amma Asante (Belle) handles it, especially when she has two extremely talented lead actors like Oyelowo and Pike.
Check out the A United Kingdom trailer below. The film will debut at TIFF next month before opening in the U.K. on November 25th. It also stars Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Terry Pheto, and Laura Carmichael.
Here’s the official synopsis for A United Kingdom:
A UNITED KINGDOM is based on extraordinary true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London office worker. The attraction was immediate: she was captivated by his vision for a better world, he was struck by her willingness to embrace it.
Both felt liberated by the social upheaval that followed the war – Seretse sensed the opportunity for change as the Empire weakened, Ruth saw the possibility for a “bigger life” as women pushed for independence and equality.
They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial couple ruling a neighboring country intolerable.
South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium (vital for the British nuclear program) and gold (vital to replenish reserves following the war) and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana.
Despite the terrible pressures they faced, Seretse and Ruth never wavered – they fought for their love every step of the way, and in so doing changed their nation and inspired the world.