A United Kingdom
The story of King Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo) of Bechuanaland (which eventually becomes Botswana) and how his loving but controversial marriage to a British white woman, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), put his kingdom into political and diplomatic turmoil.
There May Be Spoilers! (And, Sarcasm):
Don't you love being surprised by a film and this film, which is a true story, tells a tale I had not heard before. And, it's a very good story.
The early scenes are just about perfect with Seretse and Ruth instantly attracted to each other. They Swing Dance together and it is great fun to watch. Their romance is portrayed in a very touching way, so well done and moving. Especially when Seretse proposes and Ruth says "yes".
All does not remain calm and they are taken by surprise, first by Ruth's family disowning her because she is marrying a Black man. And, then Seretse's Uncle, who has been governing Bechuanaland until Seretse came of age, weighs in. The Uncle is furious that Seretse has bought "home" a White woman.
In fact his villagers are shocked that their King is asking them to honour his White Queen.
As it turns out everyone is against them, as British Politicians want Ruth to just disappear. So, how do they resolve the issues, they run off and get married of course. Solution!!
And, they'll always have Africa (Green Card).
So, Apartheid is the new Orange in South Africa and Ruth and Seretse walk right into it. No alcohol for Blacks, separate entrances for Whites and Blacks. Things look very grim but at least Ruth can have a drink or five.
Just when they thought it couldn't get any worse, it gets worse. It seems Seretse's sisters and aunts are not pleased and tell Ruth to get lost. I get this bit at least, it's Africa, I have empathy definitely but they misjudged the people who loved them and the people who would try to use them. Their grief is overpowering.
As things spiral out of control Seretse's Uncle tries to get the British Government to put him in charge and dethrone Seretse. Which backfires a bit because Ruth is virtually kidnapped and is forced to return to England, whether she likes it or not.
At this point we see a few cameo scenes from Tom Felton (The Harry Potter Franchise) as an equerry from the UK who has come to sort things out. He actually does very little to assist and it turns out he has people drilling and mining for Diamonds, with no authority at all.
So, Seretse is ANGRY, well, a little miffed, he is a subtle kind of guy. But Ruth and he are apart and something wicked this way comes.
And, thar she blows, the UK Government has separated them deliberately. Ruth has fallen ill with Diphtheria and is pregnant while Seretse is receiving vile threats and warnings from the UK.
I decided about this time that "An Utter Betrayal" is what this film should have been called.
But Seretse goes to the UK and Parliament applauds him but when he asks to read the documentation he is dismissed.
Seretse has been dismissed by everyone and is being lied to by the British Politicians. By chance he meets a Journalist he had known a few years before who explains exactly what is happening with the mining in Seretse's Kingdom.
And, believe it or not, they all live happily ever after, just like a Disney cartoon as everyone all of sudden is on their side.
This is a true story, repeating just in case you missed that, and the credits depict the happiness that ensued. Although I was kinda waiting for the "Footloose" style dance routine to push home the fact that all was well.
It's a lovely film and worth an hour and a half of your time.
The film made $13.8mil at the Worldwide Box Office. And, again, I can't really understand why no one was that interested.