1. It’s the greatest love story you’ve never heard of
A United Kingdom is based on an extraordinary true story. When insurance clerk Ruth Williams meets Seretse Khama, an African studying in London just after World War II, they immediately fall in love. What she doesn’t know is that Seretse is a prince and heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, which later became Botswana.
2. This is no ordinary passion
The relationship between Ruth and Seretse becomes an international incident. They have to stand firm in the face of racial prejudice and fierce opposition from the British government. ‘There’s something remarkable about two people facing down governments on two continents,’ says Jack Davenport, who plays the villain of the piece, Sir Alistair Canning.
3. It features a formidable cast
A United Kingdom brings together an impressive line-up of British actors. David Oyelowo (recently seen in Selma) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) are perfectly cast as Seretse and Ruth. You’ll be swept along by their romance and will root for them every step of the way as they try to prove love can conquer all. The film also features Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey) and Nicholas Lyndhurst (Only Fools and Horses).
4. It looks beautiful
A stirring romantic drama needs a stirring backdrop, and A United Kingdom doesn’t disappoint. It’s wonderfully shot, providing a stark contrast between the greyness of post-war London and the vibrancy of Bechuanaland, with its epic plains and fiery sunsets. The cinematography is the handiwork of Sam McCurdy, whose previous credits include Game of Thrones.
5. We aren’t the only ones who think it’s a winner
The critics loved A United Kingdom. Rolling Stone called it a ‘defiant cry from the heart’. Entertainment Weekly said, ‘It’s hard not to react exactly as the script intends, heartstrung by every fresh hardship or victory.’
Meanwhile, Radio Times singled out director Amma Asante for praise. ‘In bringing a little-told chapter of history to a wider audience at a time of ethnic tensions in the UK and abroad, Asante should be applauded; she remains a force for good.’
A United Kingdom is available to buy and rent now from BT TV Store