Director Amma Asante examined race’s influence on social status in her breakout film Belle and continues that line of interest in her follow-up A United Kingdom. The focus shifts from British aristocracy to colonialism this time, delving into all the nasty idiosyncrasies of that setup.

Based on the real life story of the interracial couple that broke Botswana from European rule, David Oyelowo’s Seretse Khama and Rosamund Pike’s Ruth Williams weren’t welcome in either partner’s homeland. They met in London while Khama was being groomed for rule under British sovereignty, and their marriage puts in jeopardy Britain’s influence in all of Africa.

Despite the potential for a large scope, the trailer makes it look like Asante and writer Guy Hibbert have framed A United Kingdom as a more basic love story than a broad political drama. This would be consistent with Asante’s personal story in Belle, and again she is utilizing great actors in the lead roles. Cinematographer Sam McCurdy’s work looks notably lush, using soft lighting while the couple falls in love in London before transitioning to wide shots as the ramifications of their relationship become apparent in Botswana.

A United Kingdom Trailer
source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Asante has shown an ease with audience-friendly films, but they are far from empty. A United Kingdom looks like another pleasing history lesson that is important to remember.

A United Kingdom is directed by Amma Asante and stars David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike. It will be released in the U.K. on November 25th, 2016 and in the U.S. on February 17th, 2016. For international release dates, click here.

Do you think A United Kingdom will be another hit for Asante? Let us know in the comments!

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