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Black Girl 15 rating

The first major work by African master Ousmane Sembène, about a Senegalese maid’s despair, brims with both New Wave vitality and African heart.

Drama 1965 59 mins

Director: Ousmane Sembène

Overview

Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène was the first sub-Saharan African filmmaker to achieve international recognition and is widely regarded as 'the father of African cinema'. His first major work is a sophisticated drama which won the 1966 Prix Jean Vigo, and which tells the story of Diouanne (Thérèse M'Bisine Diop), a young Senegalese woman eager to find a better life and who takes a job as a governess for a bourgeois French family.

Mistreated by her employers, Diouanne’s hopes turn to disillusionment and she descends into a state of isolation and despair. Sembène draws from the Nouvelle Vague, but the film’s heart and soul is most definitely African.