Skip to main content

BLACK VENUS

France, 2010 (MIFF 2011, International Panorama)

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

BLACK VENUS

An unforgettable telling of the short, horrific life of Saartjie Baartman, the so-called 'Hottentot Venus'.

Taken to Europe from South Africa in the early 19th century, the 'Hottentot Venus' became a freak-show attraction in London and Paris and an object of deep prurient curiosity. Fascinating to scientists and lechers alike due to her supposedly enormous genitalia, Baartman lived a tormented existence, forced by her owners to strip and perform for the gawking crowds.

An impassioned work by director Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain) built around an unflinching lead performance from Yahima Torres, Black Venus is a harrowing but worthy account of a shameful moment in colonial history.

"Yahima Torres's remarkably complex portrayal of the title character reveals not just a mute symbol of victimhood but also a woman capable of fierce defiance." - MUBI

D/S Abdellatif Kechiche P Marin Karmitz, Nathanaël Karmitz, Charles Gillibert WS MK2 L English, French, Afrikaans, Dutch w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2010

See also...

CARLOS PART 2

“Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.” - Variety ... The career exploits of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known ... More »

CARLOS PART 3

“Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.” - Variety ... The career exploits of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known ... More »

LIVING ON LOVE ALONE

"Drama, outlaw romance and social critique make this a compelling statement from one of French cinema's vital new voices." - London Film Festival ... Julie (Anaïs Demoustier) is a young ... More »

CARLOS PART 1

“Bravura narrative filmmaking on a hugely ambitious scale, Carlos is a spectacular achievement.” - Variety ... The career exploits of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known ... More »

Etoile Violette

Living a peaceful life in his shop, 30-something Alexandre (Serge Bozon) spends his days working meticulously in his tailor shop and listening to his radio. With no one to talk to, he soon becomes ... More »

13 TZAMETI

Winner of the Venice Film Festival Gold Lion award. ... “Shot like the grunge version of a ‘50s noir thriller from France (or Soviet Georgia), the black-and-white 13 (Tzameti) turns into a ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director