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Black Star

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

Our highlights here include some of the ground-breaking talents of Black British film, plus in November we'll be adding pioneering works of African-American cinema.

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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
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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
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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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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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.

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.

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
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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
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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.

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
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B.D. Women

199420 minsDirector: Inge Blackman

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

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
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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
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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
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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

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
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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
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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.