Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most internationally renowned African director of the twentieth century—but his name deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl. Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl
is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s.
- 4K restoration of the short film Borom sarret, director Ousmane Sembène’s acclaimed 1963 debut
- New interviews with scholars Manthia Diawara and Samba Gadjigo
- Excerpt from a 1966 broadcast of JT 20h, featuring Ousmane Sembène accepting the Prix Jean Vigo for Black Girl
- New interview with actor M’Bissine Thérèse Diop
- An essay by critic Ashley Clark