Black Gold

  • 12
  • Jean-Jacques Annaud (2011)
  • Fr
  • 124 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Jean Jacques-Annaud's misty-eyed morality tale stars Mark Strong and Antonio Banderas as rival leaders who spill blood and oil in the Arabian desert in the 1930s. But it's Tahar Rahim who has the meatiest role here, playing Strong's scholarly son, who's given up as a child to Banderas's wily emir to guarantee peace between the tribes - an agreement that is broken when the Americans detect oil in the buffer zone between their lands. Strong oozes charisma as the noble warrior, while Banderas relishes his turn as the sneering villain of the piece. However, Rahim (so effective in A Prophet) is miscast as a supposed leader of men, upstaged at every turn by Riz Ahmed (Four Lions) as his quick-witted half-brother, while his romance with Banderas's daughter (a glassy-eyed Freida Pinto) doesn't hold water, either. It's all very glossy, yet remains an emotionally arid affair.

Plot Summary

Two rival Arab leaders make peace, establishing a no-go area between their kingdoms that neither will claim. Years later, oil is found on this land, a discovery that threatens to end the truce. The sons of one leader, who have been adopted by their father's enemy, are drawn into the growing conflict. Drama set in the 1930s, with Tahar Rahim, Antonio Banderas, Mark Strong and Freida Pinto.

Cast and crew


Prince Auda
Tahar Rahim
Antonio Banderas
Sultan Amar
Mark Strong
Princess Leyla
Freida Pinto
Rizwan Ahmed
Prince Saleeh
Akin Gazi
Liya Kebede
Corey Johnson
Hassan Dakhil
Eriq Ebouaney
Ibn Idriss
Jan Uddin


Jean-Jacques Annaud

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Warner Bros
Violence and a sex scene.
Available on DVD
Released 24 Feb 2012
Certificate 12
Warner Home Video Ltd