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“A United Kingdom,” Now in US Theaters, is a MUST SEE!

TRAVEL EXPERT STEPHANIE ABRAMS (right), NYTIMES TRAVEL SHOW SPONSOR, INTERVIEWS

LESLIE HALL, US REPRESENTATIVE FOR BOTSWANA AT THE JACOB JAVITS CENTER IN NYC

I just found out that the film, “A United Kingdom,” is opening in cinemas in the US this weekend. We’re snowed in or I’d go see it again. Maybe I’ll see it once the town’s plow can get through to us and plow us out! But in the meantime, if you can get to a movie theater where “A United Kingdom” is being shown, run, don’t walk, to see it! The story is compelling and, given the discrimination, prejudice and bigotry that we continue to see today, the film has an overriding and important message related to tolerance and brotherhood.  The acting is superb and the scenes in London and in Africa will give you an armchair tour that may inspire your future travels. The story is set in the 1950’s and brings you into the early ’60s so the vintage clothing and cars of the period add to the sense of time and place. The story, the historic period it presents, the insights into how governments act in their own self-interests in harsh and cruel ways while doing their best to maintain an air of normalcy  . . .something I call the “stopping for tea syndrome:. . . and the acting make this a film you cannot miss.
The film is based on the true story of a tribal-chief-in-waiting in Botswana, Africa who ultimately becomes the first President of Botswana after every possible obstacle is lodged in his way by the British who occupy and run the country for their own advantage and to the great disadvantage of the countries native residents. David Oyelowo gives a stellar performance as Seretse Khama portraying his early years in London as a student who is preparing to lead his tribe upon his return to Botswana. Seretse meets Ruth Williams, portrayed by the marvelous Rosemund Pike, an Englishwoman, and they fall in love and marry, creating a kerfuffle in Africa among Seretse’s tribesmen, among the Brits in Botswana, and among Ruth’s friends and family. The world is not on the side of this unique and binding love affair as the story explores the challenges that love can survive when faced with British governmental obstacles to their union and locals in Botswana challenging her right to be queen of their tribe.  The story is a monument to overcoming challenges.
“A United Kingdom” was released in December in the UK and Ireland and we saw the film on Christmas Eve, 2016, just six weeks ago.  Oddly enough, we saw the film in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland in my favorite cinema there which is attached to a marvelous arcade and bowling alley complete with a couple of dining choices including one that is for adults only so you can escape the hordes of children who are having such a good time but are so noisey(!). Northern Ireland is part of the UK and it seemed to me that a shiver ran through the theater as British history in Botswana, a pattern similar to that of the Brits in South Africa, Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan, the Middle East. . . name the destination including Northern Ireland. . . where they have a history dividing and conquering the locals, imposing hardships that are harsh and often cruel and setting the locals against one another as a ruling tactic.
Because I enjoy seeing a film in the country in which the film is set or produced, I made a point of seeing, “Made in Dagenham,” when we were in London when the film had just come out. Like ‘A United Kingdom,’ it took several weeks before that film hit US cinemas.  ‘Made in Dagenham,’ also featuring Rosamund Pike, is based on the true story of the women who worked in the Ford Motor Company manufacturing plant in Dagenham, England and whose salaries for equal work was about 30% less the men. One woman’s perseverance and energy propelled a group of women to see parity of pay and this merry little band is that reason that the auto industry globally today has brought pay for women into parity with men who are doing similar jobs. once again, seeing the film in England provided unique insights from the reaction of the Londoners who were in the movie theater watching with me.

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

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