Black Earth Rising
John Goodman plays a troubled lawyer in a powerful international thriller
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).
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