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France, 2010 (MIFF 2011, International Panorama)

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche


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

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