Posted by: greercn | December 8, 2016

A United Kingdom

David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike sparkle in this incredibly enjoyable film. The real-life love story of the leader of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and his white English wife sparked a political scandal, in Africa and in England, during the 1940s and 1950s.

Curiously, although I knew a lot about the story – and David and Rosamund look nothing like the people they portray – I still got an awful lot out of this and never even peeked at my watch.

Amma Asante is an extraordinary director with an artist’s gentle touch. Her “Belle” was moving, but “A United Kingdom” also tells an important chapter in history in a very entertaining way.

Filming in Botswana and using local actors adds to the viewer’s feeling of seeing a real rather than a fictional situation.

The two leads own their scenes, but I was most impressed by Vusi Kunene, who has such strength in his part.

“A United Kingdom” is one of the nicest history lessons ever. From dismal post-war London to the machinations of politics, it grabbed my attention and kept it.

Curiously, some of the facts were changed and I am puzzled. If it bothers you – and if you know what I am talking about – please comment and we can be nerdy.

Considering the enormous and positive changes this couple brought to Botswana, it’s impossible to imagine that they faced so much opposition, at home and in England, just because she was white and he was black.

Everyone at a very-full Stratford East Picturehouse seemed utterly in love with it. It’s an extraordinary movie and will definitely make my Top 10 of the Year list.

I want to see it again. And I want Asante to make many more beautiful and engrossing films. Please, could you make more movies more often?

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