This Oscars season seems to be focusing on interracial marriage. From the film “A United Kingdom” to “Loving”, interracial marriage seems to be at the front and center of the film industry this year; so are the issues of racial injustices.
David Oyelowo is one of the actors in the limelight playing the role of Sir Seretse Khama, a Botswana president who married a white Briton in 1947, in the film “A United Kingdom”. Actress Rosamund Pike plays Ruth Williams, Seretse’s wife.
The marriage between Seretse and Ruth stirred a diplomatic crisis between Botswana and the United Kingdom. The film brings to light the attitudes of both black and white communities towards interracial marriage.
Jeff Nichol’s “Loving” is another interracial real-life drama starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. The film narrates the story of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who got arrested, imprisoned and banished from their home town Virginia in 1967 for marrying interracially. At the time, interracial marriage was outlawed in the state of Virginia. The film also highlights the infamous Supreme Court lawsuit – Loving vs. Virginia – that the couple filed against the state.
After their debuts, the two films generated Oscar awards season’s talks as contenders for the nominations. Centered on interracial romance the two films delve into the grave reality of racism and the problems these interracial couples had to endure just by coming from different racial backgrounds.
Amid the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, Oscars critics are demanding for the nomination of more diverse actors and directors. The above films bring that to the plate. Directors Nichols and Amma Asante are under so much pressure than any other directors because they are expected to package these real life stories perfectly. These films might also be criticized for the fact that they fail to represent the scope of interracial marriages by featuring only black and white interracial couples – other interracial combos aren’t represented.
More interracial couples want to see more likes of them reflected on TV and see their challenges and history portrayed. But with the #OscarsSoWhite saga, people will be left wondering whether critics will approve films based on the public enjoying them or just a mere reaction to #OscarsSoWhite,