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Black Girl

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Director: Ousmane Sembène
1966 / 65min / DCP

“Sembène’s use of Black and White creates a literal frame for Diouana’s gorgeous skin. ‘Contrast’ is not just an aesthetic in the frame. Here is a strikingly beautiful African woman who is undeniably present and yet is not fully seen, her worth linked only to how she can serve her White mistress’ needs and welcome knee-jerk reactions to her very Black skin. Though Black women’s voices are better amplified since Sembène’s film, we are still often confined, like Diouana in her mistress’ apartment, by systematic forces with limited views of us and how we can serve them. To solely find the ending “tragic“ is to erase the power of western capitalism’s ability to seduce one’s dreams and neocolonialism’s tendency to destroy one’s psyche.”—Radha Blank

Introduced by Radha Blank