Black Earth Ris­ing

John Good­man plays a trou­bled lawyer in a pow­er­ful in­ter­na­tional thriller

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This eight-part thriller sees Michaela Coel play Kate Ashby, who works in the law cham­bers of Michael En­nis (John Good­man). When Kate is em­broiled in a case that in­volves pros­e­cut­ing an African mili­tia leader, she and Michael are dragged into a ter­ri­fy­ing jour­ney for jus­tice across the world.

Africa’s re­la­tion­ship with Europe and Amer­ica and in­ter­na­tional war crimes are at the heart of BBC2’s tense new thriller

Black Earth Ris­ing. The eight-part drama stars

Roseanne’s John Good­man as re­spected lawyer Michael En­nis, the boss of trou­bled young legal in­ves­ti­ga­tor Kate Ashby (Chew­ing

Gum’s Michaela Coel).

As a child in the 1990s, Kate was res­cued from the Rwan­dan geno­cide and adopted by Michael’s friend, in­ter­na­tional crim­i­nal lawyer Eve Ashby (Har­riet Wal­ter).

The con­flict

Michael en­cour­ages Eve to pros­e­cute the con­tro­ver­sial case of Gen­eral Nyamoya (Danny Sa­pani), an African mili­tia leader ac­cused of war crimes in the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, at the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court. But Kate is pas­sion­ately op­posed to her mother be­com­ing in­volved, be­cause Nyamoya also helped to end the sav­agery of the geno­cide 25 years be­fore.

While se­crets, lies and con­flict come to the fore as Kate tries to get to the truth about the case and her own trau­matic back­ground, Michael is strug­gling to find a pur­pose and deal with is­sues of his own.

‘He seems to be lonely and dis­heart­ened. He’s lost and he’s try­ing to fight his way back,’ says John.

‘Out of guilt and duty he feels he has to find the pas­sion that drove him in the first place. Michael is des­per­ately sad and he over­com­pen­sates for this.’

Legal ea­gles... Michael and Kate (in­set) fight for jus­tice

Legal minds… Michael and Kate are at odds

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