Black Girl Black Girl

Black Girl

Ousmane Sembène

 
Black Girl (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • Senegal, France
  • 1966
  • 59 minutes
  • Black and White
  • 1.37:1
  • Wolof, French
  •  
  • Spine #852

Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still 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 family 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.

Credits

DirectorOusmane Sembène
Written byOusmane Sembène
Produced byAndré Zwoboda
Based on a novella byOusmane Sembène
Director of photographyChristian Lacoste
EditorAndré Gaudier
Production managerAndré Zwoboda
Assistant directorsIbrahima Barro and Pathé Diop
With the participation ofMinistère de la Coopération

Disc Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • 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 de 20h, featuring Sembène accepting the Prix Jean Vigo for Black Girl
  • New interview with actor M’Bissine Thérèse Diop
  • Sembène: The Making of African Cinema, a 1994 documentary about the filmmaker by Diawara and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
  • Alternate color sequence
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Ashley Clark

    New cover by Eric Skillman

Film Essays

28849id_026_thumbnail

Black Girl: Self, Possessed

By Ashley Clark January 24, 2017

In his radical debut feature, Ousmane Sembène reveals the agony of the postcolonial experience through the story of a Senegalese migrant abused by her French employers.
Read more »

Clippings

Bitter_thumbnail

Did You See This?

February 24, 2017

In an excerpt from his new book This Young Monster, Charlie Fox considers the “fearsome lucidity” of Rainer Werner Fassbinder: “There were no signs of a drooling id let loose or canny subterfuge . . . Read more »


Video

Screen_shot_2017-01-27_at_10.39.05_am_copy_thumbnail

Ousmane Sembène on Cinema as Activism

January 30, 2017

It wasn’t until the second half of his life that Senegalese master Ousmane Sembène dedicated himself to cinema, with his debut feature, Black Girl, premiering in 1966 when he was forty-three. . . . Read more »


10 Things I Learned

10 Things I Learned: Black Girl

By Curtis Tsui January 26, 2017


Film Essays

28849id_026_thumbnail

Black Girl: Self, Possessed

By Ashley Clark January 24, 2017

In his radical debut feature, Ousmane Sembène reveals the agony of the postcolonial experience through the story of a Senegalese migrant abused by her French employers.
Read more »


Clippings

Screen_shot_2016-12-15_at_2.38.00_pm_thumbnail

Did You See This?

December 16, 2016

To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up, Adam Scovell visited the film’s unforgettable London locations. Another masterpiece made half a century ago is . . . Read more »

Other Editions

Black Girl (Criterion DVD)

DVD

1 Disc

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96

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