Tuesday, February 7

Special Events ArchiveSpecial Screenings (previous events)

A United Kingdom

Download A Pass From IFFBoston Brattle Passes Not Accepted

IFFBoston Screening Series

Special Advance Screening!

  • Admission is FREE
  • Passes are required. Download and print your pass. (Adobe Acrobat is required to open and print the pass.)
  • Please arrive early. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and is NOT guaranteed. Theatre is not responsible for seating over capacity.


Two luminous actors, David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, bring to life one of the great forbidden romances of the 20th century. That it’s all based on a true story gives Amma Asante’s folow-up to the acclaimed BELLE (IFFBoston 2014) even greater impact. Both sweeping and intimate, A UNITED KINGDOM illustrates how love can challenge even the harshest constraints.

London, 1947. Jazz lovers Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Pike) meet at a Missionary Society dance. The evening is electric, perhaps in part because both know their attraction is fraught. She’s an accomplished office worker, and white. He is a charming law student, and black. What he can’t tell her at first is that he’s also a prince, first in line to the throne of Bechuanaland (today’s Botswanna). But despite the obstacles, it’s love.

When the time comes for Seretse to return home to lead his people’s independence movement, he impulsively proposes to Ruth. She accepts, but no one else does—not her family nor his. Neither does South Africa’s government, which controls uranium Britain badly needs, and stands on the eve of making apartheid a national policy. They won’t tolerate an interracial leading a neighboring country, so Britain begins to work against what once seemed like a simple love between Seretse and Ruth.

Having already portraid Martin Luther King Jr. in 2014’s SELMA, Oyelowo provides another stirring depiction of a heroic figure who used nonviolence to change the world’s attitude towards racial integration. Pike is likewise magnetic as a woman whose openheartedness won over a culture initially inclined to shun her. Their story lays out against a backdrop of regal English offices and sun-kissed Botswanna plains.

With her third feature, Asante has masterfully invoked a tumultuous moment in 20th-century Africa—one that boasts a glorious ending.

—Toronto International Film Festival guide

Directed by:
Amma Asante

David Oyelowo
Rosamund Pike
Jack Davenport
Tom Felton
Laura Carmichael