Another lesser-known historical tale deservedly gets the feature film treatment in the newest from Amma Asante, the director of Belle. In the late 1940s, the crown prince of Bechuanaland—now known as Botswana—Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), meets cute and marries a white Englishwoman named Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). The ensuing controversy, fueled mostly by neighboring South Africa’s newly installed racist apartheid policies, leads the British government to exile Khama and take direct rule of their protectorate.
A period romantic drama from Britain hangs its hat on skilled performances. A United Kingdom does nothing to break the mold. It has the visual and aural inventiveness of a television movie, albeit one more likely to be seen on PBS than Lifetime. This film will certainly please the small crowds that choose to view this eventually triumphant history lesson.
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