TV and Movies·Posted on 2 Aug 202117 Black-Led International Films And TV Shows That Are Total Must WatchesI'm rooting for everybody Black!by Marvel KaluBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink 1. Jiva! (2021) Netflix A talented street dancer is juggling a dead-end job, family responsibilities, and a rocky love life, while trying to get back into her groove. She soon realises her love for dance and thay a local dance competition with a generous cash prize is her one-way ticket out of her working-class Durban Township. Why you should watch it: ‘Jiva' is essentially a South African slang term that's used as a physical interpretation of music. There hasn't been a film or series which amplifies African dance culture as much as Jiva! It's sure to educate and entertain new audiences on South African culture, and might even help you pick up a few moves for the next time you're at a party. Lead: Noxolo DlaminiOrigin: South AfricaLanguage: EnglishWhere to find it: Netflix Number of episodes: five View this video on YouTube youtube.com 2. City of God AKA Cidade De Deus (2002) Miramax Films The story follows a group of boys growing up in Brazil amongst violence and territorial drug wars. Rocket (Buscape) becomes an unintentional bystander and finds himself as the narrator of the good, the bad, and the ugly o the favelas. Why you should watch it: This is a coming of age film like no other; its raw and unapologetic commentary of life in Brazil is simultaneously captivating and heartbreaking. The tale of the City of God introduces you to a plethora of characters that you’ll grow to love, or love to hate.Lead: Alexandre RodriguesOrigin: BrazilLanguage: PortugueseWhere to find it: Prime Video View this video on YouTube youtube.com 3. The Intouchables (2011) Gaumont Driss, a street smart immigrant is trying to stay away from his troubled past, and to everyone's surprise is hired to take care of Phillipe, a quadriplegic French nobleman. An unlikley friendship blossoms between the two – Driss’ confidence and zest for life helps Phillipe take a new positive perspective on things.Why you should watch it: I mean first of all Omar Sy. If you liked him in Lupin then you'll love him even more in this film – he's playing a totally different character, but he still has that undeniable wit and charm. The plot of the film may seem familiar because it was remade in 2017, and The Upside, starring Kevin Hart. Lead: Omar SyOrigin: France Language: FrenchWhere to find it: Amazon Prime/ Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com 4. Queen Sono (2020) Netflix This South African crime drama follows Queen, an international super spy, as she goes rogue trying to find answers and seek revenge for her mother's untimely death. Why you should watch it: Imagine James Bond was a South African woman, can you see it? This TV show is a breath of fresh air. It's got the perfect mix of comedy, action, and relatable moments. Though it's set in South Africa, it touches on the political issues across the continent, such as the presence of the militia in Congo, and the complex relationship between African countries and overseas charities. Lead: Pearl ThusiOrigin: South AfricaLanguage: EnglishWhere to find it: Netflix Number of episodes: Six View this video on YouTube youtube.com 5. Lupin (2020) Netflix Assane Diop is a man who is inspired by the adventures of Arsene Lupin, the gentleman thief. He sets out to avenge his father after he was framed by a corrupt wealthy family. Why you should watch it: Every episode is like watching a movie in itself. The plotlines are complex and have that extra added magic from the trickery of Arsene Lupin. It's truly unpredictable – there's no guessing what could happen next in this show. Lead: Omar SyOrigin: France Language: FrenchWhere to find it: NetflixNumber of episodes: 10 View this video on YouTube youtube.com 6. Zero (2021) Netflix Zero is a coming of age story following the life of a shy second-generation immigrant named Omar who discovers an unlikely superpower. Why you should watch it: This is Netflix’s first-ever Italian original with not only a Black lead, but also Black directors and writers. Written by Angolan-Italian Antonio Dikele Distefano, the show finds the perfect balance between fiction and non-fiction. Although it has the spectacle and excitement of a superhero story, it doesn't ignore or shy away from unfolding the heritage of its Black lead, his friends, and their community. Lead: Giuseppe Dave SekeOrigin: ItalyLanguage: ItalianWhere to find it: Netflix Number of episodes: Eight View this video on YouTube youtube.com 7. Baxu and the Giants (2019) Netflix A young girl notices the presence of rhino poachers in her village and realises the effect that they have on her village and family. Why you should watch it: If you liked the films Queen of Katwe and The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind then this short is definitely something you'll enjoy. Films like this help give a voice to a generation of young African children who are growing up having to find solutions for the complicated choices made by those who came before them. Lead: Camilla Jo-Ann DariesOrigin: Namibia Language: English, Afrikaans, and Khoekhoe gowabWhere to find it: Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com 8. Brotherhood AKA Irmandade (2019) Netflix An honest lawyer reaches a moral crossroads after discovering her brother is the leader of a rising criminal faction in Brazil. She’s then forced by the police to become an informant and betray her loyalty to her brother. Why you should watch it: Set in the city of Sao Paulo in the mid-’90s, the movie does not skip on discussing the social and political climate of Brazil’s prison system.Lead: Seu Jorge Origin: BrazilLanguage: PortugueseWhere to find it: NetflixNumber of episodes: Eight View this video on YouTube youtube.com 9. Les Misérables (2019) Netflix Based on real events that took place in Montfermeil in 2008, Les Misérables is a provocative insight into the tensions between neighbourhood residents and the police in France. Why you should watch it: This is no musical, but the social commentary is just as prominent as its namesake. Set after France won the 2018 World Cup, the film follows the lives of people who live in a community that's over-policed, showing the harsh reality of being pushed out of the winning picture. Lead: Djebril Zonga Origin: France Language: French, EnglishWhere to find it: Amazon Prime View this video on YouTube youtube.com 10. Adú (2020) Netflix Adú has three storylines that all explore the global refugee crisis through each character's experience with immigration. We meet six-year-old Adú and his older sister as they make a desperate attempt to flee Cameroon for Europe, waiting on a runway to smuggle themselves inside an aeroplane's cargo hold.Why you should watch it: I’ll be honest, the film is an instant tear-jerker and a very emotional watch. Though these characters' lives wouldn't normally cross paths, the complex and layered storytelling makes the film easy to follow and allows breaks between each heart-wrenching storyline.Lead: Moustapha OumarouOrigin: SpainLanguage: French, English & SpanishWhere to find it: Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com 11. Seriously Single (2020) Netlix Dineo refuses to accept her single status and is desperately searching for her Mr Right, without any help from her free-living bestie who's urging her to embrace her singlehood. Why you should watch it: Seriously single is a relationship status I can relate to, and this film is so funny – who doesn't love a rom-com? You’ll grow to love the ”let's party our feelings away” friendship dynamic between Dineo and her best friend Noni, who's played by South African comedian Tumi Morake.Lead: Fulu Mugovhani (Dineo)Origin: South Africa Language: EnglishWhere to find it: Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com 12. Blood & Water (2020) Netflix Puleng, a Cape Town teen is living in the shadow of her twin sister who was kidnapped from the hospital when they were born. After meeting a girl at a party, Puleng transfers to an elite school to find out if the popular star student she crossed paths with is her long lost sister. Why you should watch it: From the outside, Blood & Water looks like your typical teen school drama, but once you delve into the storyline it becomes so much more, and is far from predictable. What I love about the show is how it portrays the life of the rich South African private school teens, complete with cliques and rivalry that we can all relate to. Lead: Ama Qamata Origin: South Africa Language: EnglishWhere to find it: Netflix Number of episodes: Six View this video on YouTube youtube.com 13. Five Fingers for Marseilles (2017) Indigenous Film Distribution A group of South Africans – the Five Fingers – are fighting tirelessly against brutal police brutality in Apartheid South Africa. Their leader Tau flees to colonial Marseilles and comes back 20 years later to find the town is under a new threat. Why you should watch it: Five Fingers for Marseilles is cinematically Western-inspired. While paying historical hommage to Westerns, the filmmakers were able to combine it with the history of Apartheid South Africa in an epic showdown against their oppressors. Lead: Vuyo Dabula (Tau)Origin: South Africa Language: Xhosa & SesothoWhere to find it: Amazon Prime View this video on YouTube youtube.com 14. The African Doctor AKA Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont (2016) Mars Films Set in 1975, a recent medical graduate of Congolese descent struggles to integrate into the rural French village that he and his family have moved to, but winds up becoming one of the most respected doctors in the region. Why you should watch it: The African Doctor takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as you follow the family through their highs and lows of having to call a new place home, and the struggles they face as they try to settle in. Lead: Marc Zinga (Seyolo Zantoko)Origin: France Language: FrenchWhere to find it: Google Play, Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com 15. Number 37 (2014) Amazon Prime Randall's injured and stuck in his apartment so borrows his girlfriend's binoculars to spy on their neighbourhood. After witnessing a crime, he sees an opportunity to turn their lives around.Why you should watch it: The suspense of this film is strong – you have no idea what's going to happen next. It's the true definition of a thriller. The whole way through I just kept imagining what I would do if I were in the situation. You'll find yourself simultaneously critiquing Randall's survival techniques while being in awe of both him and his girlfriend's bravery. Lead: Irshaad Ally Origin: South AfricaLanguage: AfrikaansWhere to find it: Amazon Prime View this video on YouTube youtube.com 16. Redemption AKA Resgate (2019) Mahla Films Bruno returns to his girlfriend and daughter after being released from prison. He's trying to navigate the grief of losing his mother and the responsibilities of fatherhood, while being in the same environment that led him to prison in the first place. Why you should watch it: Although it’s a slow starter, the intimate moments that you spend watching Bruno try to create a better life for his small family make you grow fond of him, and understand why he has to make the decisions that he does towards the end. The film was shot locally, so has a really authentic feel to it, and if you're from a PALOP (Portuguese-speaking African country), you're sure to know a person just like Tony.Lead: Gil Alexandre (Bruno) Origin: Mozambique Language: Portuguese & EnglishWhere to find it: Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com 17. Atlantics AKA Atlantique (2019) Netflix Ada is betrothed to Omar but is deeply in love with Souleiman. When Omar dies in a fire on his wedding day, Ada is suspected of being involved in his death.Why you should watch it: Atlantics is a supernatural love story that will captivate you right from the opening scene to the closing credits. I’ve literally never watched a film like this before. The fearless and boundless combination of real-life social commentary, the supernatural world, and a story of love that are explored in the film is breathtaking. Lead: Mame Bineta Sane (Ada)Origin: France Language: Wolof & FrenchWhere to find it: Netflix View this video on YouTube youtube.com Tell us your favourite Black-led international film or series in the comments below!