It’s often hard to look back at our own past: we wince at the embarrassing moments, we cringe at words hastily spoken and irretrievably damaging, we hang our heads in shame at actions committed that we wish we could forget and can never undo.
Loads of trailers crop up on my Twitter feed every day, and though I may give them a cursory glance, one in particular this morning has shone out from the crowd.
“A United Kingdom” (2016) is a film adapted by director Amma Asante (known for the recent feature film Belle (2013)) from the book ‘Colour Bar: The Triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation’, and all based on the true story of one interracial couple’s struggle for acceptance in a time where difference simply wasn’t negotiable. Issues of mixed marriage, colonialism, tradition, heritage, and segregation seemingly drown out the purity of colour-blindness in love and happiness, and this new interpretation of the public and political struggles of Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Williams brings to the public eye the distances we have come from our prejudiced and intolerant views so many years ago, and yet highlights the distance we still have to travel for genuine understanding and peace.
Image taken from imdb.com
Today’s news headlines are filled with the unsettling statistics about migrants, refugees, asylum seekers fleeing from homes where they no longer feel safe. But these numbers are only one side of the story: in the new Brexit Britain, there have been horrifying stories relating to racial intolerance, attacks on men and women in public spaces, and a worrying rise in the indifference to these reports as the exposure continues to escalate. In a world where the challenges of acceptance and amnesty are reported daily, this new released could hardly be placed in a culturally better position for socio-cultural reflection.
Image taken from imdb.com
But it isn’t all hard-truths and self-flagellation: the trailer shows moments of an against-the-odds, bittersweet humour that lift the mood of the narrative from dark to hopefully optimistic. History has shown us that the marriage, unity and strength of Khama and Williams persevered throughout hardships and slights, and there is great humanity in the one-liners sprinkled throughout the trailer– and I dare anyone not to feel a spark of warmth seeing an adorable bundle in Rosamund Pike’s arms. In that one image there is hope, new life and a feeling of great joy that even though the film may not show it, behind the scenes there will have been the highs, lows and laughs that raising a child can bring to any household.
This is a film that will bring as many laughs and tears, I feel, and I’m very much looking forward to it.
“A United Kingdom” (2016) comes to UK screens on 25th November.
Director: Amma Asante
David Oyelowo: Seretse Khama
Rosamund Pike: Ruth Williams