After jumping onto Netflix viewers’ radar with two very different projects, Michaela Coel is about to add a third. The creative force behind “Chewing Gum” and cast member in “Black Mirror: USS Callister” plays the main character at the heart of the new international drama series “Black Earth Rising,” premiering later this month.
The show, which aired for UK audiences last fall, follows the efforts of Kate Ashby, a Rwandan-born legal investigator to find the truth behind how and why she survived a genocide. That pursuit eventually brings in the help of Michael Ennis (John Goodman), an American lawyer living overseas after his divorce. With his help, Kate looks to figure out the validity of the statement in the trailer below, that “Some things are best left forgotten.”
Through their efforts, “Black Earth Rising” touches on issues of self-harm, family identity, trauma’s relationship to memory, the lingering effects of colonialism, and the extent to which perpetrators of war crimes are brought to justice. The eight-part season co-stars Harriet Walter, Tamara Tunie, and Noma Dumezweni. The series is written and directed by Hugo Blick, who served in both those same roles on “The Honourable Woman,” which aired on BBC Two and SundanceTV back in 2014.
“‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ I was never quite sure what this famous quote meant but by following the fictional journey of a young black legal investigator in her global quest to unearth exactly who she is and where she comes from — now I do. But then my heroine gets to discover something else that’s altogether more terrifying and deadly: That some people’s past is so secret others will stop at nothing to keep it buried,” Blick told IndieWire.
Watch the full trailer below:
“Black Earth Rising” premieres January 25 on Netflix.