A United King­dom

Malta Independent - - CINEMA -

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 neigh­bour­ing 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.

A United King­dom is di­rected by Amma Asante (Belle, A Way of Life). It is writ­ten for the screen by Guy Hib­bert (Eye in the Sky, Five Min­utes of Heaven) who adapted it from Su­san Wil­liams’s book Colour Bar. It stars David Oyelowo (Selma, Jack Reacher), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Jack Reacher), Jack Davenport (Pi­rates of the Caribbean, The Tal­ented Mr. Ri­p­ley) and Terry Pheto (Tsotsi, Man­dela) and Tom Fel­ton (Harry Pot­ter). Sam McCurdy (The De­scent, Game of Thrones) is di­rec­tor of pho­tog­ra­phy. The pro­duc­tion de­signer is Simon Bowles (Belle, Hyde Park on the Hud­son). Jenny Bea­van (The King’s Speech, Mad Max) and Anushia Nier­adzik (Belle) are the cos­tume de­sign­ers, and Pa­trick Doyle (Ham­let, Sense and Sen­si­bil­ity) com­posed the mu­sic. Jonathan Amos (Scott Pil­grim vs. The World) and Jon Gre­gory (Mr. Turner, In Bruges) edited the film. A United King­dom is pro­duced by Rick McCal­lum (Star Wars, Red Tails), along­side David Oyelowo, Peter Hes­lop, Brun­son Green (The Help), Justin MooreLewy and Char­lie Ma­son. Cameron McCracken of Pathé is ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer along­side Chris­tine Lan­gan for the BBC and Natascha Whar­ton for the BFI and Eleanor Clark Windo for In­ge­nious. The film’s screen­writer Guy Hib­bert is also an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer.

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion 12A

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