New 4K restorations of both films
Black Girl/Borom Sarret (Blu-ray+DVD) BFI
Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène was the first sub-Saharan African filmmaker to achieve international recognition and is widely regarded as ‘the father of African cinema’.
His first major work, Black Girl, is a sophisticated drama which won the 1966 Prix Jean Vigo, and which tells the story of Diouanne (Thérèse M’Bisine Diop), a young Senegalese woman eager to find a better life and who takes a job as a governess for a bourgeois French family. Mistreated by her employers, Diouanne’s hopes turn to disillusionment and she descends into a state of isolation and despair. Sembène draws from the Nouvelle Vague, but the film’s heart and soul is most definitely African.
Sembène’s directional debut, the short Borom Sarret, was the first ever indigenous black African film. An allegorical tale exploring poverty and inequality, it follows the difficult life of a hard-up cart driver in Dakar.
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