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Shaka King Selects

The Judas and the Black Messiah director selects the films that inspire him from BFI Player Subscription.

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A Prophet (Un prophète)A Prophet (Un prophète)

Crime2009156 minsDirector: Jacques Audiard

Jacques Audiard’s award-winning crime drama chronicles the rites of passage and eventual rise to power of a young French Arab. Tough, taut, truthful.

"I saw this for the first time with my brother Jabari (RIP). One of my favorite movie going experiences ever. Never had an old man terrify me quite like Niels Arestrup. The way he alternates between the carrot and the stick. Chilling."

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DogtoothDogtooth

Drama200993 minsDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos

Yorgos Lanthimos' scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is original, ingenious and sadly relevant as a study of parent-child relationships

"Shout out to the woman at Sundance who told me to "stop laughing" when the lights came up. One of my favorite endings to a movie ever. And on that note..."

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MotherMother

Thriller2009129 minsDirector: Bong Joon-ho

Cult Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host, Snowpiercer) fourth feature is a startlingly original and thrilling account of the limits of maternal devotion.

"My favorite ending to any movie EVER. The framing of the shot from outside of the bus, the choice to go handheld, the silhouette reveal, the music, the little shimmy she does... God-level tier filmmaking."

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King of New YorkKing of New York

Crime1990103 minsDirector: Abel Ferrara

Christopher Walken is the dogged drug-lord determined to keep his empire together, in Abel Ferrara's brutally gritty crime thriller.

" 'Where the chicken at, huh? Yo Black!' Fishburne is in a 1930's gangster flick and I LOVE that shit. This movie is so arch and yet so real. What an incredible feat of balancing tone."

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Short Term 12Short Term 12

Drama201397 minsDirector: Destin Daniel Cretton

A care-worker is confronted by a troubled teen whose case history provokes an unwelcome reminder of her own concealed and traumatic past.

"I saw Lakeith Stanfield in this and knew I had to work with him someday. His performance lent the movie a real authenticity."

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The Battle of AlgiersThe Battle of Algiers

Drama1966121 minsDirector: Gillo Pontecorvo

Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece about the last years of French colonial rule in Algeria, seen from the perspective of both the revolutionaries and the French authorities.

"The greatest political film of all time."

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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.

"Never give up on your dreams."

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The Killing of a Chinese BookieThe Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Gangster1976109 minsDirector: John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes’s uncompromising character study of a gangster, with Ben Gazzara as the small-time club owner whose life begins to spin out of control.

"Another movie with a great takeaway: the importance of being comfortable."