August 01, 2011
La noire de… (1966)
"Black Girl is a 1966 film by the Senegalese writer and director Ousmane Sembène, starring Mbissine Thérèse Diop. Its original French title is La noire de…, which means 'The black girl of...', as in 'someone's black girl'" (spoiler at the first link).
The film's reversal of then conventional ideas about the narrative position of "subaltern" groups is today not only to be expected but cliché (not only in film but in all media including and especially advertising). Le noire de... is nonetheless fascinating to watch, perhaps more so now than when it was made, less for its polemic than its aesthetic. I had never seen a film with a nouvelle vague sensibility via Senegal.
That said, for all his purported - and apparently genuine - concerns about subject position and representation one cannot help but notice Sembène's choice of Mbissine Thérèse Diop for the lead rôle is as entirely conventional today as it was in the mid-1960s; she is luminously beautiful.
Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 1, 2011 07:48 AM