The first film by Senegalese master Ousmane Sembène and the first feature
produced in sub-Saharan Africa, Black Girl is the story of Diouana, an illiterate
nursemaid from Dakar who follows her French employers to the Côte d’Azur
with dreams of discovering France. But once in Antibes, she finds herself
enslaved, trapped in the couple’s well-appointed holiday apartment and
on the receiving end of their domestic frustrations. Her ensuing rebellion is
both a desperate act and one of the great cries of cinematic outrage. Despite
its short running time, Black Girl is an extraordinarily dense film, packed
with unexpected narrative turns and human and political insight. The rage
at its heart is concealed by the clean lines of Sembène’s black and white
photography of the south of France and Dakar, his seductive montage, and the
hum of Senegalese pop music on the soundtrack. But make no mistake: this is
a work of subversion, a human-scaled tragedy for the age of anti-colonialism.
As an on-the-ground analysis of the cause and effects of domination, it
has few rivals. As a powerful example of cinema’s ability to give voice to the
disenfranchised, it stands alone as a painfully timely, masterful work of art.
M’Bissine Thérèse Diop
Momar Nar Sene
Black Girl (1966) – 59 min.
Borom Sarret (1963) – 30 min.
Blu-Ray, DCP, DVD
$200 – DVD
$250 – Blu-Ray
$300 – DCP