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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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The WoundThe Wound

Drama201788 minsDirector: John Trengove

A traditional rite of passage ritual forms the backdrop for this tough and complex tale of closeted sexuality in South Africa.

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Second ComingSecond Coming

Drama2014105 minsDirector: debbie tucker green

What if an immaculate conception took place in a South London household? Idris Elba stars in a subtle, thought-provoking and original family drama.

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GirlhoodGirlhood

Drama2014113 minsDirector: Céline Sciamma

In the tough suburbs of Paris, sixteen-year-old Marieme decides to reinvent herself when she joins a girl gang.

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The Watermelon WomanThe Watermelon Woman

Comedy199785 minsDirector: Cheryl Dunye

Cheryl Dunye's smart and funny romance - thought to be the first feature directed by a black lesbian - remains a breath of fresh air decades on.

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The Harder They ComeThe Harder They Come

Drama1972103 minsDirector: Perry Henzell

The cult classic, acknowledged as the catalyst for the popularisation of reggae in the US, sees Jimmy Cliff traversing the underbelly of Jamaican shanty-town life.

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Black OrpheusBlack Orpheus

Romance1959107 minsDirector: Marcel Camus

Thrilling re-working of the Orpheus myth, incorporating the music, costume and dance of Brazil’s Rio Festival.

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Stud LifeStud Life

Drama201287 minsDirector: Campbell X

Campbell X's debut feature is a sexy, young and cool gay romance taking a unique look at a slice of British urban life.

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The Last TreeThe Last Tree

Drama201999 minsDirector: Shola Amoo

Femi, a young British boy of Nigerian heritage, has to adapt to the new environment of inner-city London, in this outstanding, BIFA-winning drama from Shola Amoo (A Moving Image).

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The Stuart Hall ProjectThe 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.

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HoneytrapHoneytrap

Drama201497 minsDirector: Rebecca Johnson

While attempting to settle into her new London neighbourhood, Layla finds herself thrown into the city's gang culture.

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Fear Eats the SoulFear Eats the Soul

Melodrama197493 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

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

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Bullet BoyBullet 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.

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Burning an IllusionBurning an Illusion

Legal and Courtroom drama1981102 minsDirector: Menelik Shabazz

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

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PressurePressure

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.

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BallastBallast

Drama200796 minsDirector: Lance Hammer

Three haunted souls are thrust into co-existence in this searing debut work from Lance Hammer, a double prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival.

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My Brother the DevilMy 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

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Assault on Precinct 13Assault on Precinct 13

Police drama197691 minsDirector: John Carpenter

Besieged in an abandoned police station, a lone cop and his skeleton staff recruit a condemned killer from the cells in a desperate battle to survive the night, in John Carpenter's brutal and unrelenting cult classic.

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Leave It on the FloorLeave It on the Floor

Drama2011106 minsDirector: Sheldon Larry

Sheldon Larry’s audacious, raunchy and big-hearted voguing musical, set in downtown LA.

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Young Soul RebelsYoung 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.

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SutureSuture

Thriller199496 minsDirector: Scott Mcgehee

David Siegel and Scott McGehee's sumptuously shot neo-noir is a moody, monochrome meditation on race and identity politics.

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HoneydripperHoneydripper

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.

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Mystery RoadMystery Road

Crime2013121 minsDirector: Ivan Sen

An Aboriginal cop returns to his hometown to solve the brutal murder teenage girl, uncovering a web of corruption and a growing body count, in Ivan Sen's acclaimed Australian riff on the Western genre.

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WalkaboutWalkabout

Drama1970101 minsDirector: Nicolas Roeg

Jenny Agutter plays the teenage girl reliant on a young Aboriginal (David Gulpilil) for her survival, in Nicolas Roeg's stunning Australian outback drama.

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GoldstoneGoldstone

Thriller2016110 minsDirector: Ivan Sen

Ivan Sen follows his acclaimed Australian thriller Mystery Road with another distinctive, 'outback noir', with troubled indigenous detective Joe Swan (Aaron Pedersen) again on the trail of murder and corruption.

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Soul PowerSoul 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.

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Black GirlBlack 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.

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DheepanDheepan

Drama2015115 minsDirector: Jacques Audiard

Jacques Audiard’s soul-stirring Palme d’Or winner tells of a veteran Tamil Tiger guerrilla who finds fresh violence in his new life in Paris.

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Gone Too Far!Gone Too Far!

Comedy201388 minsDirector: Destiny Ekaragha

Riotous urban comedy adapted from the hit Royal Court play, about a Peckham teen affronted by the arrival of his long-lost Nigerian sibling.

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Chico & RitaChico & Rita

Animation & Artists Moving Image201094 minsDirector: Fernando Trueba

An evocative animated love story set in the jazz nightclubs of Havana and New York.

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Buena Vista Social ClubBuena Vista Social Club

Documentary1999101 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Cuba’s rich and colourful past comes vividly to life in this legendary, Oscar-nominated documentary from director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire).

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BabylonBabylon

Drama198095 minsDirector: Franco Rosso

A young Rastafarian toaster (rapper) with Reggae Sound System Ital Lion, hopes to rise above the trials of his daily life and succeed at a Sound System competition.

More Black Star films in our Rentals collection.