Arts Calendar

Oct 23

International Film Forum: BLACK GIRL

Part of the Tournees Festival of French Films on campus this Fall

Monday, October 23rd, 2017
7:00 – 8:00 pm / Weitz Cinema

The first film by Senegalese master Ousmane Sembène and the first feature produced in sub-Saharan Africa, Black Girl (1966) 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 (55 minutes), 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.

Ousmane Sembène

Sponsored by Arts at Carleton. Contact: Steven Richardson, x4389