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Black | A multicultural Romeo and Juliet set amid Brussels' gang-ridden banlieues

Black Martha Canga Antonio boubakr Bensaïhi
(Image credit: © Vertigo Films)

Black Martha Canga Antonio Aboubakr Bensaïhi

Star-crossed young love and brutal gang violence

A hip-hop Romeo and Juliet set amid Brussels’ gang-plagued immigrant communities, gritty Belgian drama Black doesn’t pull any punches. Its star-crossed young lovers - 16-year-old Moroccan boy Marwan (Aboubakr Bensaïhi) and 15-year-old Congolese girl Mavela (Martha Canga Antonio) – meet un-cute in a police precinct, both under arrest. For all their cheeky rapport, it’s clear from the start that the liaison won’t end well.

Black Martha Canga Antonio

Things do indeed get grim, and an unflinching scene of gang rape in a church is particularly gruelling, but there’s a vibrant urgency to the filmmaking, which makes it easy to see why Hollywood has signed young directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah to make Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop 4.

Certificate 18. Runtime 94 mins. Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Black debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Wednesday 3 May. Available on Digital Download from Under the Milky Way.