Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A HISTORY LESSON FOR MICHAELA; GEORGIA HUMPHREYS Finds out More about Black Earth Rising - a Thriller Centred on International War Crimes - from Writer Hugo Blick and Star Michaela Coel ON THE SCREEN SMALL

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A HISTORY LESSON FOR MICHAELA; GEORGIA HUMPHREYS Finds out More about Black Earth Rising - a Thriller Centred on International War Crimes - from Writer Hugo Blick and Star Michaela Coel ON THE SCREEN SMALL

Article excerpt

Byline: GEORGIA HUMPHREYS

BEFORE reading the script for Black Earth Rising, a new BBC2 thriller which deals with the complicated legal ramifications of the Rwandan genocide, actress Michaela Coel had no idea about the history the show covers.

"I felt outraged, shocked at my own ignorance," admits the 30-year-old, known for writing and starring in E4 sitcom Chewing Gum.

ON SMALL "'When did this happen?' I was asking my Mum, 'Why didn't you tell me?"' "So I took a dedication to the pursuit of getting the role, because I wanted to correct my own ignorance and I wanted to somehow feel a sense of redemption from my lack of awareness," she continues.

SCREEN Here, Michaela, and the drama's creator, Bafta-winner Hugo Blick, tell us more about the explosive six-parter.

SHAPING THE STORY MICHAELA plays Kate Ashby, who was adopted from Rwanda as a child during the genocide of 1994, and raised in Britain by Eve Ashby (The Crown's Harriet Walter), a world class British prosecutor in international criminal law.

Now in her 20s, Kate has followed in her mother's footsteps and works as a THE legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (played by Roseanne star John Goodman).

Eve embarks on a case at the International Criminal Court, prosecuting an African militia leader, and Michael and Kate take a journey that will alter their lives forever.

SUBJECT MATTER AFTER completing The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, about a businesswoman trying to forge new ties between Israelis and Palestinians, Welshman Hugo, 53, recognised he was "interested in the reconciliation of trauma".

"So I thought, 'How does that work institutionally?' "Looking at war crimes, that's a pretty big traumatic event and how are we helping to reconcile people to that? And why are we doing it as a Western environment? …

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