Black Girl (1966): Ousmane Sembene’s Tale of Senegalese Woman in Postcolonial France

Though still little known in the U.S., Ousmane Sembène (Xala, Faat Kiné) was one of the greatest and most filmmakers as well as the most internationally renowned African director of his generation.

He made his feature debut in 1966 with the stirring feature Black Girl, about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white couple.

Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world.

She soon finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally.

Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement-and one of the essential films of the 1960s.

Running time: 59 minutes

Black & White


In French and Wolof with English subtitles

* 1.37:1 aspect ratio

Special Edition Features

* New 4K digital restoration, undertaken by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

* 4K restoration of the short film Borom sarret, director Ousmane Sembène’s acclaimed 1963 debut

* New interviews with scholars Manthia Diawara and Samba Gadjigo

* Excerpt from a 1966 broadcast of JT 20h, featuring Sembène accepting the Prix Jean Vigo for Black Girl

* New interview with actor M’Bissine Thérèse Diop

* Trailer

* New English subtitle translation

* Essay by critic Ashley Clark

BLU-RAY EDITION SRP $39.95 PREBOOK 12/27/16STREET 1/24/17CAT. NO. CC2720BD ISBN 978-1-68143-247-2UPC 7-15515-19191-3
DVD EDITION SRP $29.95 PREBOOK 12/27/16 STREET 1/24/17 CAT. NO. CC2721DDVD ISBN 978-1-68143-248-9 UPC 7-15515-19201-9