A United Kingdom: David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike star in three new posters

A United Kingdom main

by Phil de Semlyen |
Published on

A United Kingdom is one of those true-life stories so poignant, you'll wonder why it took so long to become a movie. African tribal leader Seretse Khama and a British clerk called Ruth Williams fall in love in late 1940s London, but have to resist the British Empire at its nastiest to see things through. It’s the stuff of which great power ballads are made. We don’t have a great power ballad but we do have three stylish new posters – each recreating a photograph of the real couple – showing love lifting this couple up where they belong. Botswana, as it turned out.

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Oyelowo plays Botswana’s president-to-be Khama and Rosamund Pike plays Williams. The movie charts their tender courtship in late '40s London and subsequent efforts to navigate through the opposition of their respective governments without being deposed, exiled or otherwise ostracised.

A United Kingdom poster 3

Not all of the drama comes from a Foreign Office keen to preserve its political ties with the racialist but resource-rich South Africa, Botswana’s neighbour. Ruth Williams is initially confronted by the stark reality of a nation that demands its leader marry an African girl instead of a British interloper. The politicising of their love affair is all-encompassing.

A United Kingdom poster 3

Belle director Amma Asante’s movie, which opened the BFI London Film Festival this month, has Tom Felton back on bad-guy duties. He joins Jack Davenport as the moustache-twiddling face of the Empire’s colonial ambitions. Mandela’s Terry Pheto, Arnold Oceng (Adulthood) and Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael also appear.

A United Kingdom is out in the UK on 25 November. Pick up the new issue of Empire on 27 October for an exclusive photo essay of the film’s shoot by Asante.

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