Black Girl

Archival Presentations

SIFF Says:

Diouana is a young black woman who has accepted a job as a governess to a wealthy family in the French Riviera. Excited for her new job in glamorous France, her dreams of the cosmopolitan life are quickly dashed when her employers treat her more like a slave than hired help. Diouana tries to remain positive and keep her depression at bay, dressing up fancy to do chores and anticipating when the children will come back from their school abroad so she can focus on something other than tedious housework. Her employers, especially the lady of the house, begin to constantly berate her based on her race and her illiteracy, forcing her to wear shabby clothing while she does her work, and not allowing her to leave the house to enjoy time in the city. Diouana falls into a deep pit of despair as she comes to terms with her alienation and new life as a lowly servant to this posh French family. The first feature from acclaimed African filmmaker Ousmane Sembène is this heartbreaking, observational drama that addresses the effects of colonialism on personal identity.

Stranger Says:

: Ousmane Sembene’s feature debut, based on his novel, is concerned with terrible loneliness and humiliation. The film is elegantly thin, with very little waste of time or space. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

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Film Credits
Ousmane Sembène
Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine
SIFF 2015