The 1966 Senegalese film will make its comeback in New York and Los Angeles cinemas.
A film that Martin Scorsese once called “An astonishing movie – so ferocious, so haunting, and so unlike anything we’d ever seen,” has been digitally restored. Ousmane Sembène’s Black Girl will make its theatrical premiere at BAMcinematek in New York from Wednesday, May 18, through Tuesday, May 24.
Both a landmark of world cinema and a devastating indictment of colonialism’s tragic legacy, Black Girl was the first African film to receive international acclaim. The film tells the story of a Senegalese housemaid Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop, in a beautiful performance) is brought to France by the white family she works for, finding herself isolated in an unfamiliar country and trapped in a life of domestic servitude, a situation that the dignified Diouana refuses to accept.
The film was the first ever to openly talk about racial inequalities and is considered the most important about race.
Black Girl screens with Borom Sarret (1963), Sembène’s first film, also restored in 4K from the original camera and sound negatives, a neorealist look at the hardscrabble life of a wagon driver who encounters a cross-section of Dakar’s inhabitants as he makes his rounds through the city.
You can watch the restored trailer below.