[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.
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Decolonization in Black Girl isn't only a myth, but also a myth that actually strengthens the consumerist caste systems.
Formally spartan, Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl (1966) is dense with cool fury.
It’s a remarkable personal-is-political drama, set in barely postcolonial Senegal and France.
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.
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.