ComingSoon.net has an exclusive clip from the new documentary The Penny Black, directed by Joe Saunders. The film was released in select virtual cinemas on May 21 and is now available on Digital platforms. You can rent or buy your copy here!
Fittingly dubbed a “documentary noir,” The Penny Black follows Will, an estranged son of a conman who fights temptation, paranoia, and his own nefarious legacy after his Russian neighbor disappeared and left him with a mysterious, million-dollar stamp collection.
Check out the exclusive clip below:
The film is a head-spinning investigative thriller that follows Will’s search for answers through the underbelly of Los Angeles and takes viewers on a constantly winding but ever-authentic journey. A provocative exploration of Will’s fear and integrity, the documentary follows a hunt to find the owner of the collection. When a significant piece of the stamp collection goes missing, the filmmakers are forced to reexamine Will’s capacity for honesty.
According to the documentary’s website, the Penny Black STAMP is the world’s first adhesive postage stamp. Its notoriety made it easy to Google among this massive collection. Coincidentally, this little stamp comes with its own nefarious origins. Issued in the United Kingdom on May 1, 1840, the Penny Black didn’t take long before it was the subject of mass fraud. The stamps, due to their color, were canceled with red ink to prevent their reuse. Unfortunately, this red ink was water-soluble, which meant that the stamps could be washed and reused. To curb the rampant fraud, the Penny Red was introduced a year later to allow cancelations with black ink that were not water-soluble and could not be removed. The striking design of the Penny Black was then consigned to stamp albums (there, ironically, to become a target of high-value theft).