Black Girl (1966)

Ousmane Sembène, in his first feature film, from 1966 — which is also widely considered the first feature made by an African — distills a vast range of historical crises and frustrated ambitions into an intimate, straightforwardly realistic drama. His images have the cool fury of an indictment; his ironic views of the French landscape and his shrewd New Wave citations suggest that beneath the natural and cultural charms of France lurks a bilious racism linked to colonialism. 

Richard Brody, The New Yorker

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. … (A) harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement — and one of the essential films of the 1960s.

The Criterion Collection

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the Sembène Estate, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, INA, Eclair laboratories and the Centre National de Cinématographie. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

  • Orig. title: La noire de...
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Distribution: Cineteca di Bologna
  • Cinematography: Christian Lacoste
  • Editing: André Gaudier