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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Remembering Ousmane Sembene's BLACK GIRL, 50 Years Later



To say that Ousmane Sembene's 1966 drama BLACK GIRL is a movie about race does it a grave disservice, one that overlooks its sensitive portrayal of Diouanaa young Senegalese woman (Mbissine Thérèse Diop) whose humanity is stripped away when she is brought from her native home by the white family she works for and suddenly expected to become their domestic aid in France. It's about confinement, resistance, and ultimately defeat. BLACK GIRL humanizes the many nameless women of color victims of discrimination in the headlines today whose stories are quickly filed away once the next popular trending topic emerges.

Semebene's seminal film doesn't have a triumphant ending and didn't earn any shiny Hollywood awards, but it serves as a perfect example of what we still don't see enough of onscreen when it comes to women of color characters--vulnerability.

BLACK GIRL adds a sense of urgency and resonance to the current conversation on race, inequality, and acceptance. And now it's got a 4K restoration for a limited run beginning today at BAMcinématek in New York and at Cinefamily in Los Angeles on June 30. 

Watch the trailer:  

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