Forbidden Love

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC The BRWC Review: A United Kingdom

It is a simple, incontrovertible fact that few things make love burn brighter than being told it’s not allowed – Shakespeare had this figured out centuries ago when he wrote ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and forbidden love has been a mainstay of the silver screen since the earliest silent stars gazed lovingly at one another only to be torn apart by whichever nefarious means. Of course, it’s not just warring families or pre-existing betrothals that get in the way of love’s young dream, as A United Kingdom, this month’s achingly beautiful arrival on the BFI Player shows. Race, religion, sexuality, age, politics – all of them have derailed many a cinematic romance in a variety of heartbreaking ways and to mark Amma Asante’s triumph debuting on the BFI Player on March 20th, we thought we’d remind you of some of the best forbidden romances you can follow it up with. Tissues at the ready…

A United Kingdom (2016)

A United Kingdom is the tale of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), the London office worker he married in 1948 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the government of the time. Ignoring the opposition of friends and family, they plunge into a whirlwind romance that leads rapidly to marriage and political responsibility. Director Amma Asante follows her previous film Belle with another elegant, impassioned drama that also reveals a painful episode in the history of British race relations and imperial politics.

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