In 1947, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo)—black heir to the throne of Bechuanaland, the resource-rich British protectorate next door to South Africa—fell in love Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), the white woman he met while studying in London. Everyone freaked out: politicians in London, the people of Bechuanaland, both families. They got married anyway. As a romance, this is a beautifully passionate film, one of the very best in recent years; Oyelowo and Pike share a palpable and insistent chemistry that immediately ingratiates you into their relationship. But of course nothing about their story is “just” a romance. Director Amma Asante (the marvelous Belle) transforms it into an urgent and oh-so-relevant tale about love as radical and capable of moving the mountain of the status quo; the tenacity with which Seretse and Ruth stuck with each other even in the face of mendacious opposition is directly responsible for Bechuanaland declaring its independence from the U.K. and becoming the Republic of Botswana. Sheer perfection every way, A United Kingdom is a smack in the face to bigotry, one badly needed right now.