A United Kingdom (2016)
We were delighted to welcome 40 day members to join the 32 regulars at this, ultimately uplifting film. The new equipment cabinet caused some old plastic chairs to have to be stored outside and these were needed for the last few audience members.
The evening's theme was Botswana and several shorts were screened: some documentaries showing the flora and forna of the land as well as traditional songs and dances, the last short: Scapegoat, was a US/Botswanan comedy - rather light but the best that the videographer could come up with when constrained to be about or shot in Botswana.
The unlikely alliance between a white London girl and the King of Bechuanaland in the late 1940s proved to be a true marriage of minds with the strength and courage to overcome the politics and racism of both black and white in England and Africa. The struggle was long and difficult and without their determination and endurance, and the support of Tony Benn, success would have been denied them. The cinematic technique of London being dark, cold and rainy and Africa hot, bright and colourful visually conveyed the contrasts between the cold politics and the warmth of the people. The film left me with more questions than answers and a desire to read Ruth Williams's book.
Before the main feature we enjoyed three short films all shot in Botswana. The first two gave us a glimpse of cultural life, and the third was an amusing moral tale. The discussion group was well attended and everyone agreed the film told an enlightening and moving story.