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a-united-kingdomMy husband and I began attending TIFF five years ago. We purchase 20 tickets and see 10 films together. A wonderful opportunity to immerse oneself in the movie-going experience and for me to have a change of pace from reading and writing.

First up was A United Kingdom which is based on a book (Yay!!) called Colour Bar by Susan Williams. From the book blurb: “Sir Seretse Khama, the first President of Botswana and heir apparent to the kingship of the Bangwato people, brought independence and great prosperity to his nation after colonial rule. But for six long years from 1950, Seretse had been forced into exile in England, banned from his own country. His crime? To fall in love and marry a young, white English girl, Ruth Williams. Delving into newly released records, Susan Williams tells Seretse and Ruth’s story – a shocking account of how the British Government conspired with apartheid South Africa to prevent the mixed-race royal couple returning home.”

In the film version, David Oyelowo plays Seretse Khama and Rosamund Pike plays his wife Ruth. It’s a marvellous story directed by Amma Asante, which blends romance, politics, social and racial issues to great effect.

Just like historical fiction, historical dramas must transport the viewer in time and space such that we feel immersed in the period. Asante does this to great effect with her portrayals of Botswana (then called Bechuana Land) – the people, the beautiful land, the dirt roads, mud huts, tribal meetings, emerging racial barriers prompted by what was happening in South Africa and so much more. She also portrays London 1947 – the post-war political climate in a country bankrupt by war; the snobbishness of those in the foreign service; the rain and gloom as well as the night club scene where jazz and swing were all the rage.

My vote – Highly Recommended

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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union on August 16, 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.