for classic car fans, it’s a 1950 Chevrolet

A United Kingdom, currently screening at the Shoreline in Waikanae, should appeal to those interested in the machinations of politicians and diplomats.

It deals with the events affecting Bechuanaland (now Botswana) — then a British protectorate — in the late 1940s when its Prince, Seretse Khama, soon to be King, falls for and marries an Englishwoman while in London.  Racial segregation was a firmly entrenched attitude at the time and it didn’t go down well with either’s family.  The African situation was of major concern to the British government whose empire was beginning to disintegrate. Opposition to a black king with a white queen was threatening more disintegration, not just in Bechuanaland, but at the bottom of Africa with the neighbouring countries of South Africa, South West Africa (Namibia) and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) all in the process of fortifying white supremacist rule.

Both the Labour government of Clement Atlee and the Conservatives of Winston Churchill wanted the couple removed from the country and engaged in various attempts to do that. Ultimately, Churchill banishes him from the country.

Alistair Canning, the British career diplomat and government representative of Southern Africa is akin to Dougherty in Kapiti, albeit more suave and less tempestuous.

Recommended! 🙂