a surprise encounter with an
African mystic in Paris and an
involvement with a robbery that goes
horribly wrong, fate intervenes and
a man who is determined to get some
easy money finds himself living out an
ancient prophecy in darkest Africa...
WHILE ON HIS WAY TO COMMIT AN ARMED ROBBERY on a security van, Black (French
hip-hop artiste MC Jean Gab'1: the District 13 movies) is confronted
by a mysterious African Shaman who tells him of a prophecy involving a fight
between a lion and a panther against an evil snake. The African tells Black
that he is the lion and that the scar on his face will save him.
The raid on the security van goes horribly wrong and ends with a tragic police
shoot-out. Black narrowly escapes with his life and goes into hiding. But a
telephone call from his cousin Lamine (Ibrahima Mbaye) lures him and three friends
to the Senegalese capital of Dakar where the indiscreet manager of a poorly-guarded
bank, Mr Kumassi (Michel Duperial), has let slip that three kilos of smuggled,
uncut diamonds destined to finance a "great political project" are locked in
Looking for a way to get some easy money that would set them up for the rest
of their lives, Black, Masta (François Bredon), Bozyeux (Louis-Karim Nebati)
and Al Kayd (Youssef Hajdi) plan to relieve the bank of the diamonds. But things
are not going according to plan as Kumassi has been replaced by the enigmatic
Pamela Gaye (Carole Karemera: Sometimes In April) and the word is out
about the diamonds.
Black is going to have to takcle alone the ruthless reptilian arms dealer Degrand
(François Levantal: A Very Long Engagement; D'Artagnan's Daughter), his
voodoo sorceress mistress Fatoumata (Mata Gabin) and crazed, mercenary Russian
general Viktor (Anton Yakovlev: The Beat That My Heart Skipped).
He will find both surprising allies and a betrayal before he goes into battle
against the evil of legendary Africa, and only one thing will save Black as
he fights for his life against impossible odds.
Black is an intriguing, mystical, action-packed movie that delivers the
goods. The film sees the eponymous protagonist and anti-hero travelling from
Paris to West Africa and the Senegalese capital of Dakar to attempt to pull
off the biggest score of his criminal career.
The spirit of Blaxploitation classics such as Super Fly, Shaft
and Truck Turner is given a modern day makeover in the action-thriller
Black, the directorial debut feature from Pierre Laffargue. In French with easy-to-read
English subtitles, this movie has a supernatural thread running through with
a sting in its tail. MC Jean Gab'1 is terrific in the title role with support
from a creditable cast.
Black is an affectionate and worthy tribute to the Blaxploitation genre
right down to its energetic soundtrack of funk, jazz and soul by artistes such
as the film's star MC Jean Gab'1, Eumir Deodato, Fela Kuti, Brass Construction,
Don Cherry and Roy Ayers.
Black also features: Thierno Ndiaye Doss as The Adjutant; Nicky Naude
as Petersen and Zack Zublena as Guillaume. The film is written by Lucio Mad
and Gabor Rassov from an original idea by Lucio Mad and Marco Cherqui; Produced
by Marco Cherqui (the Cesar and BAFTA Award-winning A Prophet) and Directed
by Pierre Laffargue, who was also responsible for the adaptation.
*Keeping the excitement going from Parisian cool to darkest Africa, Black
is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Anchor bay Entertainment on 14 February 2011.
Certificate: 15 | RRP: £15.99 (DVD); £19.99 (Blu-ray).
"Keeping the excitement going from Parisian cool to darkest Africa… Black
is an intriguing, mystical, action-packed movie that delivers the goods"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"A slick, fun French heist flick" Eye Weekly
"Popcorn movie with oodles of French cool" Eye For Film