This handsome period drama, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, tells a fascinating story of 1940s race relations
This handsome period drama, starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, tells a fascinating story of 1940s race relations.
Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama, crown prince of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Pike is Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.
Director Amma Asante is a sympathetic though not always subtle chronicler, contrasting damp, grey London, where the couple meet while Seretse is studying law, with the open skies and sun-baked earth of the African veldt to which they travel on their marriage.
This is a smoothed-out version of the real history, it’s clear, and characters such as Jack Davenport’s snobbish British diplomat make all too obvious villains.
However, Oyelowo and Pike bring immense warmth and dignity to their roles and thanks to them we’re cheering their romance from first to last.