Spike Lee is back on the rampage and the result is this dazzling, rage-fuelled, in-your-face hip-hop musical that re-purposes Aristophanes’ Lysistrata – a comedy about a Greek heroine who leads a sex-strike to prevent war – setting it in Chicago’s South Side. Chi-Raq (Nick Cannon) is the leader of the Spartans and the lover of foxy, feisty Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris - Mad Men). The Spartans are at war with rival gang, the Trojans, led by Cyclops (Wesley Snipes). When an 11-year-old-girl is killed in the crossfire, Lysistrata decides to take action, convincing her sisters on both sides to take a stand - with the rallying cry of “No peace, no pussy”.
The first original movie from Amazon Studios employs the still considerable energies of a clearly rejuvenated Spike Lee, who revels in this crazy-on-paper project that conflates Greek mythology, hop-hop and a scorching social commentary on inner city violence. Reframing the Black Lives Matter debate with colour, creativity and pounding beats, and featuring an incredible cast that also includes John Cusack, Angela Bassett and Samuel L Jackson as rhyming narrator (surely a successor to Mister Señor Love Daddy), this is Spike Lee’s most intoxicating joint for a decade.
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Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.
Comedy 1935 69 mins Director: Friedrich Zelnik
Jolly gender-swapped musical version of Cinderella, featuring a play within the film in which the characters star in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Drama 2018 124 mins Director: Christiaan Olwagen
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Musical 2016 128 mins Director: Damien Chazelle
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Drama 1936 77 mins Director: J. Elder Wills
A black London docker becomes a famous opera singer in this stirring musical drama starring Paul Robeson
Musical 1934 66 mins Director: John Baxter
Rarely-seen 1930s British musical about two African American travelling minstrels in search of entertainment work.
Documentary 2013 87 mins Director: Morgan Neville
This moving documentary shines a spotlight on the backing singers behind some of the great musical hits of the 21st century.
Documentary 2017 101 mins Director: Nick Broomfield
Documentary titan Nick Broomfield turns his gaze to the troubled pop star whose sensational voice masked an inner identity crisis.
Documentary 2017 115 mins Director: Sophie Fiennes
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Documentary 2018 120 mins Director: Kevin Macdonald
Stunning revelations and captivating reminiscences paint a picture of the extraordinary life of singer Whitney Houston, in this in-depth portrait by acclaimed filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (Touching the Void, Marley).
Documentary 2019 89 mins Director: Alan Elliott
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Documentary 2019 98 mins Director: James Erskine
Part film-noir, part tragedy, this mesmerising documentary uncovers the true life of the legendary Billie Holiday.
Featuring Teyonah Parris
Comedy 2014 108 mins Director: Justin Simien
The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand on their own cultural beliefs and identities.
Drama 2021 76 mins Director: Darragh Carey
Affluent YouTuber Leah is drawn to shy youth Benji as the subject for her Brixton documentary, but her desire for edgy footage leads them both down a dangerous path.
Comedy 2010 36 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh's sports-infused comedy short starring Eddie Marsan, produced as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Drama 1990 103 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh’s hilarious yet tragic domestic portrait features a dazzling ensemble performance and remains a potent, true-to-life story, and one of the celebrated director’s most admired and affecting films.
Drama 2019 140 mins Director: Karim Aïnouz
A deserving winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard prize, this sumptuous tale of two sisters cruelly separated by family and fate makes for deeply moving drama.
Documentary 2021 81 mins Director: Sue Carpenter
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Drama 1965 123 mins Director: John Schlesinger
Julie Christie stars in the quintessential swinging sixties film, as a young woman flitting nonchalantly through London's nightlife.