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Black Girl(La Noire de...)

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Senegal, France · 1966
1h 0m
Director Ousmane Sembène
Starring Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine, Momar Nar Sene
Genre Drama

Eager to find a better life abroad, a young Senegalese woman named Diouana accepts a job as a maid and a nanny for a wealthy white family in France. Upon beginning the job, however, Diouana is shocked by the brutal treatment and racism she endures at the hands of her new employers. Based on an article that director Ousmane Sembène found in a newspaper.

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The New York Times by

[Mr. Sembène's] sadly pensive story of a young Dakar girl hired as a governess for a white couple's three children appears unevenly weighted in favor of Mr. Sembène's dolorous thesis.


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

Ousmane Sembène, in his first feature film, from 1966—which is also widely considered the first feature made by an African—distills a vast range of historical crises and frustrated ambitions into an intimate, straightforwardly realistic drama.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The weakness of Black Girl is in its slow, journeyman style; one feels that Sembene learned filmmaking by making this film. It also suffers from a kind of primitive naturalism, as if the script were by James T. Farrell out of Theodore Dreiser. Every motive is spelled out in unnecessary detail, and little attempt is made to get into the minds of the characters.

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