La Noire de... (1966)

Sembene's first feature film, known in English as "Black Girl," made a profound impression at several international film festivals in 1966. The evolution of the African cinema can probably be dated from this point. Shot in a simple, freewheeling style reminiscent of the early New Wave, it tells a direct, bitter, unambiguous story of exile and despair. The heroine, Diouanna, is a Senegalese maid taken to the Riviera by her French employers. It is only when she is out of Africa that she realizes what being African means: it means being a thing, no longer Diouanna, but "the black girl." Jean Vigo Prize, 1966. In French with English sub-titles. 16 mm. Black and white. 60 minutes.

Awards

Jean Vigo Prize (Paris)
Grand Prize at the Dakar Black Arts Festival

Critical Works

Chirol, Marie Magdeleine. “Le Langage du muet comme champ d'exploration du cinéma francophone: La Noire de ..., Wend Kuuni, Remparts d'argile.” Etudes Francophones, (1996 Winter) 11 (2): 93-107.

Ellovich, Risa. Rev. of “Black Girl [La Noire de...]” by Ousmane Sembene
American Anthropologist New Series, Vol. 79, No. 1 (Mar. 1977): 198-200.

Langford, Rachael. “Locating Colonisation and Globalisation in Francophone African Film and Literature: Spatial Relations in Borom Sarret (1963), La Noire de ... (1965) and Cinéma (1997).” French Cultural Studies (Feb. 2005): 91-104.

Lynne, Thomas. “Community, Carnival, and the Colonial Legacy in Ousmane Sembene’s ‘La Noire de…’ ” Cincinnati Romance Review 2004: 23; 60-74.

McCallum, Pamela. “Irony, Colonialism and Representation: The Case of Sembene Ousmane's ‘La Noire de.’ ” Mattoid 1998; 52-53,158-65.

Pallister, Janis L. “From ‘La Noire de. . .’ to ‘Milk and Honey’: Portraits of the Alienated African Woman.” Modern Language Studies 22. 4 (Autumn 1992): 76-87.

Bontemps, Jacques. "Semaine de la critique à Cannes: La Noire de... De Sembene Ousmane." Cahiers Du Cinéma n.179, June1966: 48.

Duvigneau, Michel. "La Noire de." Téléciné Aug.-Sept.134 1967: 46.

Gardies, Rene. "La Noire De..." La Revue du Cinéma, Image et Son n.210, Nov. 1967: 132-133.

Pennec, Claude. "La Noire, d'Ousmane Sembene." Arts et Loisirs 5 Apr. 1967: 52.

Predal, Rene. "La Noire de...: Premier long métrage Africain." Cinémaction 34 (1985): 36-39.

Ropars-Wuilleunier, Mc. "À propos du cinéma africain: La problématique culturelle de La Noire De..." Recherche, Pédagogie et Culture 18-17 (1975): 10-15.

Spass, Lieve. "Femal Domestic Labor and Third World Politics in La Noire De..." Jumps Cut 27 (1982): 26-27.

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