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Black Star

Our subscription selection celebrating black stardom, focusing on British talents and pioneering performers.

Our highlights here range from Ousmane Sembéne's groundbreaking 1965 film Black Girl all the way up to 2004’s acclaimed British crime drama Bullet Boy and beyond. Begin a mesmerising journey through the talent of black cinema right here.

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For Queen and Country
For Queen and Country
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For Queen and Country

Drama1989101 minsDirector: Martin Stellman

Denzel Washington stars as a British paratrooper who returns to the London council estate of his youth, only to find his wartime service counts for nothing.

Black Girl
Black Girl
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Black Girl

Drama196559 minsDirector: Ousmane Sembène

The first major work by African master Ousmane Sembène, about a Senegalese maid’s despair, brims with both New Wave vitality and African heart.

Honeydripper
Honeydripper
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Honeydripper

Drama2007124 minsDirector: John Sayles

Acclaimed writer-director John Sayles brings the birth of rock 'n' roll to life with electrifying effect, with Danny Glover heading up a stellar cast.

Soul Power
Soul Power
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Soul Power

Documentary200892 minsDirector: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte

James Brown, Sister Sledge and B.B King feature in this stunning concert film, shot during the Ali-Foreman 'Rumble in the Jungle' of 1974.

The First Grader
The First Grader
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The First Grader

Drama201099 minsDirector: Justin Chadwick

Inspiring true story of a Kenyan man who returned to school aged 84. With Oliver Litondo and Naomie Harris.

Of Good Report
Of Good Report
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Of Good Report

Drama2013110 minsDirector: Jahmil Xolani Thandikhaya Qubeka

Disturbing but deeply stylish South African drama about a teacher who becomes obsessed with an under-age pupil in his class, with tragic consequences.

One Love
One Love
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One Love

Romance200396 minsDirector: Rick Elgood

The legendary Don Letts directs this reggae romance about a rasta musician whose affair with a gospel-singing preacher’s daughter causes a stir in Kingston.

Pressure
Pressure
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Pressure

Drama1975121 minsDirector: Horace Ové

Hailed as Britain's first black feature film, Pressure is a hard-hitting, honest document of the plight of disenchanted black youths in 1970s London.

Sixteen
Sixteen
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Sixteen

Drama201379 minsDirector: Rob Brown

A former child soldier in Congo, now living in London, witnesses a crime and is drawn into a violent world he'd hoped to leave behind.

Bullet Boy
Bullet Boy
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Bullet Boy

Drama200486 minsDirector: Saul Dibb

Ashley Walters impresses in the hard-hitting Hackney drama that’s still one of the best of Britain’s black urban crime films.

Playing Away
Playing Away
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Playing Away

Sport1986102 minsDirector: Horace Ové

A cricketing comedy of manners exploring white and black stereotypes, from pioneering British filmmaker Horace Ové.

Looking for Love
Looking for Love
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Looking for Love

Documentary2015115 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Leading filmmaker Menelik Shabazz (Burning an Illusion) explores intimacy and relationships within Britain’s black community.

Young Soul Rebels
Young Soul Rebels
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Young Soul Rebels

Drama1991105 minsDirector: Isaac Julien

The Queen's Silver Jubilee beats to the sounds of Funkadelic, Sylvester and the O'Jays in Isaac Julien’s feature debut.

B.D. Women
B.D. Women
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B.D. Women

199420 minsDirector: Campbell X

Sassy, stylised documentary exploring the hidden histories of black lesbians.

Straight to Hell
Straight to Hell
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Straight to Hell

Comedy198786 minsDirector: Alex Cox

Alex Cox’s anarchic homage to the spaghetti western, with arguably cinema’s wildest cast: Dennis Hopper, Joe Strummer, Courtney Love, Grace Jones and Shane MacGowan.

Fear Eats the Soul
Fear Eats the Soul
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Fear Eats the Soul

Melodrama197493 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fassbinder’s international breakthrough, this unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
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Julius Caesar

Drama2012151 minsDirector: Gregory Doran

Gregory’s Doran’s innovative Shakespeare interpretation transplants the action to post-independence Africa.

My Brother the Devil
My Brother the Devil
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My Brother the Devil

Drama2012107 minsDirector: Sally El Hosaini

Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them

The Stuart Hall Project
The Stuart Hall Project
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The Stuart Hall Project

Documentary201399 minsDirector: John Akomfrah

Composed of film, music and photographs from the archives, a fascinating portrait of the life and times of the founder of cultural studies and the New Left Experience.

The Nine Muses
The Nine Muses
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The Nine Muses

Documentary201092 minsDirector: John Akomfrah

John Akomfrah mixes archive material, literary and musical quotations and newly shot silent footage in a wry, rapt meditation on memory and migration.

Burning an Illusion
Burning an Illusion
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Burning an Illusion

Legal and Courtroom drama1981101 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London.

Within Our Gates
Within Our Gates
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Within Our Gates

Drama191974 minsDirector: Oscar Micheaux

Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.

Blood of Jesus
Blood of Jesus
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Blood of Jesus

Drama194156 minsDirector: Spencer Williams

Spencer Williams feverish melodrama about a woman’s flirtation with Satan was independently produced out of Texas with an amateur cast and a budget of $5,000.

Birthright
Birthright
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Birthright

Drama193874 minsDirector: Oscar Micheaux

Oscar Micheaux directs the story of a Harvard graduate whose attempts to establish a rural school runs into opposition from both races.

Ray from Black Star

More Black Star films in our Rentals collection.