2015 [FRENCH]

Action / Crime / Drama

IMDb Rating 7.1 10 4106

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720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
827.61 MB
fre 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 29 min
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1.66 GB
fre 5.1
25 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 5 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rubenm 6 / 10

Shakespeare in Brussels

'Yes, I read books by Shakespeare', says a young gang member jokingly when he is interrogated by the police. Without doubt, this scene in 'Black' is meant as a little innuendo. The film is the latest cinematographic adaptation of Shakespeare's play 'Romeo and Juliet'.

'Black' is set in Brussels, where territories are divided between Moroccan street gangs and rival gangs of black Africans. When Moroccan teenager Marwan is waiting in the police station after having been arrested for theft, he meets the pretty African girl Mavela, who is caught for the same reason. They exchange telephone numbers, and start an affair. Because they are members of different gangs, this is enough reason for an exchange of violent attacks by the gangs. Several girls are gang raped or forced to participate in holdups, the boys organize gang fights.

The film is very fast-paced and dynamic, capturing the inner city gang life with dark, sinister images and impressive establishing shots, making Brussels look like an urban jungle not much different from the Bronx or Compton.

But beneath this succession of beautiful shots, there is not much substance. The screenplay doesn't contain much suspense because everyone knows the Romeo and Juliet storyline. The dialogue consists mostly of four letter words. The characters are mostly one-dimensional. All white cops are sadistic racists, all black men are heartless macho's, all girls are sexy and submissive. The film makers miss the opportunity to develop interesting characters, like Mina, a policewoman of Moroccan descent. We never learn how she copes with being hated by members of her own ethnic group.

In view of the Paris attacks of November 13th, the film has an interesting extra dimension. The Moroccan street gang is named '1080', which is the zip code for Molenbeek, the quarter in Brussels where the atrocities were being prepared and planned. You can't help but think that Marwan could just as well have been one of the attackers.

Another interesting thing are the subtle references to Belgian linguistic squabbles. From time to time, Marwan and Mavela switch from French to Dutch, but purely in a mocking way. They hate the Flemish policemen who address them in Dutch, and when Marwan tells his imprisoned brother that he wants to start a legitimate garage business, he is accused of being 'Flemish'. Knowing that both directors are from Flanders, this is a nice pun.

Reviewed by excavator 8 / 10

Contemporary Romeo and Juliet

Black is a dark and fast paced movie about a black African girl and a Moroccan boy who fall in love. While Romeo and Juliet centered around the love between two people from feuding families, Black turns this lovestory into a very current and global racial issue. In addition, the romanticism of the story is completely overshadowed by the grim reality and violence that come with life in a gang. However, no matter how well executed the movie is, that's it as far as content goes: a love story and violence. The two main characters are the only one's that are slightly developed, the rest are mainly a means to an end story wise. I would definitely recommend this movie because it's a very well made contemporary movie, but if you're expecting elaborate story lines and many in-depth characters, you might not enjoy this one 100%.

Reviewed by wroblewski-radek 3 / 10

Such a lazy writing and such a wrong message ...

This movie is well shot,I'll give it that. But the rest I hate more the more I think about it. The characters are shallow, everyone's either a sadistic douche or a selfish douche. The script is just another Romeo & Juliet ripoff. And not a very original one. And the message: according to this movie every young black person is a gangster. Not that they don't have aby other options, no. They want to be gangsters, they don't want to integrate into the society - cause they've been born black and they know it's the best life for them. Well, screw that message and screw this movie.

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