The marriage of Botswana (then known as Bechuanaland, a British protectorate) royal family member-turned-independence leader Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Williams Khama is little known in the U.S.. But their relationship, amid increasingly hateful official racism in neighboring South Africa and the burgeoning African Independence movements that would ultimately see European colonial governments ousted from the continent, proved to be one of the most historically significant of the 20th century. The Amma Asante-directed drama A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, aims to shine a light on their remarkable story. A new trailer has been released which you can watch above now.
Khama and Williams met while he was studying in London and married in 1948. An intense international uproar followed their marriage however, and thanks to pressure from South Africa and cowardice in the UK Parliament, the couple were exiled from Bechuanaland for 5 years. Eventually allowed to return in 1956, Khama emerged as a crucial leader of the country’s independence movement, becoming the country’s Prime Minister in 1965 and, upon independence in 1966, Botswana’s first President, serving until his death from cancer in 1980.
Written by Guy Hibbert, A United Kingdom also stars Terry Pheto, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Abena Ayivor, and Vusi Kunene. It will screen in select theaters starting February 17.