Can’t believe it is not a BBC production. A straightforward historical background cum classic romance story, featuring upper class people in fancy dresses.
The protagonist is an illegitimate daughter of a slave, recognised by her father and raised in the home of the highest judge in the British empire.
Beyond the sub-plot about finding husbands to marry, the main thrust of the story concerns the Zong slaver jettisoning his human cargo for allegedly lacking water for the other passengers. Turns out this was all bullshit, and the slavers threw 130 people overboard to claim the insurance money. The supreme court sided with the insurers, considering jettison “cargo” on purpose was tantamount to fraud.
This was an actual case decided on the courts in 1783, but the slave trade was only formally abolished in 1807, 25 years later, our protagonist was dead and buried by then. This is just the trade, not slavery itself. Slavery abolition was nearly 30 years later still.
Makes the happiness they feel at the end ringing hollow, I see why they left out this part from the film.