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Black Girl  /  La Pirogue

Black Girl
April 8, 2017 - 7:30 pm

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.

Black Girl  (Senegal/France, 1966)

A Senegalese woman accompanies her French employers to France after the country’s independence, but is sorely disappointed when she is treated as a mere house servant, or worse, as an exotic object for the entertainment of the family’s white house guests. Africa’s most famous director/novelist, Ousmane Sembène, directed his first feature film (and the continent’s first) after attending film school in Moscow. As a left-wing novelist, Sembène is interested in exposing the contradictions of colonialism, and the often false hopes of its victims to escape the grinding poverty of their homelands.

DCP, b&w, 65 min.  Director: Ousmane Sembène.  Les Actualités Françaises. Producer: André Swoboda.  Scriptwriter: Ousmane Sembène.  Cinematographer: Christian Lacoste.  Cast: Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Anne-Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine.

La Pirogue  (France/Senegal/Germany, 2012)

Baye Laye, who has a wife and children to support, agrees to pilot a long wooden boat for a group of migrants from Africa to Spain, despite the extreme dangers on the often fatal journey. The economic refugees signing on include Laye’s brother, a young man who dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, a tribal elder seeking agricultural employment in Europe. Eschewing melodrama, Senegalese director Touré presents without sentimentality the terrible choices and seemingly hopeless prospects of such migrants.

Blu-ray, color, 87 min.  Director: Moussa Touré. Les Chauves-Souris. Producer: Adrien Magne. Scriptwriter: Abasse Ndione, Éric Névé, David Bouchet. Cinematographer: Thomas Letellier. Cast: Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Laity Fall, Malaminé 'Yalenguen' Dramé.