Review: Black (premiere)

Black noun; 1. presenting tragic or harrowing situations; 2. Full of anger or hatred; 3. Very evil or wicked.

If you look up the definition of the word black in the dictionary then these are the results you will get. We often unconsciously connote the word black to  negativity, but in this film the directors and the actors have managed to find beauty in the midst of roughness and despair.

This is a film adaptation of the book Black by Dirk Bracke, it’s an urban Romeo & Juliet love story about two teenagers with African descent. A Moroccan boy and an black girl who unexpectedly find love in an environment where their wanting to be together is not accepted. The directors (Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah) have made a brilliant choice for their first film to put the focus on minorities, something that is rarely done in Belgium. They saw this as an opportunity to tell the story of many minorities whom are in gangs in that area of Belgium. The directors found it very important to make a movie about minorities in an otherwise mostly white dominated world as director Adil El Arbi confirmed. This movies reflects on the feelings many minorities have regarding their identity, where they don’t feel like they belong to the society they live in and on the other hand they don’t feel like they belong to the society they came from.

We had the opportunity to ask the cast and director questions during the premiere last Monday. We were mostly impressed by the chemistry between the lead characters Marwan (Aboulbakr Bensaihi) and Mavela (Martha Canga Antonio). We asked them how they were able to portray such a realistic sense of chemistry and Aboulbakr answered that at the first meeting the chemistry was already clearly present, it was very natural.

We have enjoyed the film extremely, we were captivated from the beginning until the end. If this film brings us anything it can best be described with Shakespeare’s wise words:

‘The course of true love never did run smooth’.

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