Playing out across the UK, Europe, Africa and the USA, Black Earth Rising explores issues of justice, guilt and self-determination. The story centres on Kate Ashby (Coel) who wasrescued as a young child during the Rwandan genocide and adopted by Eve Ashby (Walter), a world-class British prosecutor in international criminal law. Kate was raised in Britain and now, in her late 20s, she works as a legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (Goodman). When Eve takes on a case at the International Criminal Court, prosecuting an African militia leader, the story detonates, pulling Michael and Kate into a journey that will upend their lives forever.
This international thriller is about the prosecution of international war crimes and the West’s relationship with contemporary Africa written,directed and produced by Bafta-winner Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman, The Shadow Line). The fictional drama series stars Emmy and Golden Globe-winner John Goodman (The Big Lebowski; Roseanne) and Bafta-winner Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum; London Spy). They will be joined by Olivier award-winners Noma Dumezweni (Harry Potter And The Cursed Child) and Harriet Walter (The Crown; Downton Abbey), alongside Tamara Tunie (Law And Order: Special Victims Unit; The Devil’s Advocate), Lucian Msamati (Taboo; Kiri) and Abena Ayivor (A United Kingdom). Image credit: still Black Earth Rising BBC2
Michaela Coel on her character:
What drew you to the project and the character?
First of all, like anybody else auditioning, I only received one or two pages – but the writing! I had also seen Shadowline, which was Hugo’s previous show and it was one of the first dramas that I had really seen as an actor. I saw the quality of that and saw the few pages I had, and knew immediately that I wanted to try my best to be involved.
Then I got all of the scripts and was so embarrassed by my lack of knowledge that I wanted to connect and feel what happened so recently, and what has been happening as a consequence of that. That’s what spurred me on through the process. And identifying with what it is to want resolution in your own life. Watch the series on BBC2 starting Monday 10 September 9pm…