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Black Venus (2010)
"Vénus noire" (original title)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,713 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 42 critic

The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and ... See full summary »

Writers:

(original scenario), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yahima Torres ...
Saartjie 'Sarah' Baartman
...
Hendrick Caezar
...
Réaux
Elina Löwensohn ...
Jeanne
François Marthouret ...
Georges Cuvier
Michel Gionti ...
Jean-Baptiste Berré
Jean-Christophe Bouvet ...
Charles Mercailler, le journaliste
Jonathan Pienaar ...
Alexander Dunlop
Rémi Martin ...
Le premier client du bordel
Jean-Jacques Moreau ...
Henri de Blainville
Cyril Favre ...
Le premier aide naturaliste
Dominique Ratonnat ...
Le 2e aide naturaliste
Didier Bourguignon ...
Le 3e aide naturaliste
Ralph Amoussou ...
Harry, le premier domestique
Alix Serman ...
Matthew, le deuxième domestique
Edit

Storyline

The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and fortune there. Once in London her master turned manager does nothing but exhibit her as a freak in a phony and humiliating carnival show. After a series of troubles caused by their act, Caesar, Saartje and their new friend, bear-tamer Réaux, head for Paris where once again, and against her will, she has to mimic savagery and expose her body, first in carnivals, then in the aristocratic salons of Paris, later on among the libertines and finally in brothels where she ends up being a prostitute. In the meantime, French anatomists will have taken an interest in her unusual anatomy (enormous buttocks and labia) only to declare her the missing link from ape to man. In 1815, aged only 27, she dies alone, of a combination of pneumonia and venereal disease. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

27 October 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Black Venus  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Yahima Torres was discovered walking down the street in Belleville. See more »

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User Reviews

 
a thoroughly worthwhile experience
14 January 2011 | by (www.subtitledonline.com) – See all my reviews

excerpt, full review at my location - While some will attest that the armless Venus De Milo is a work of art, actual physical faults are treated with considerably less vigour – even when they're a result of nature itself. The Venus in Abdellatif Kechiche's biographical drama never comes close to attaining the stature of a God, but nevertheless provides the basis for a fascinating meditation on how one can be judged by the sum of their apparent parts.

The film's value lies in its ability to interconnect human sciences with medical science, genuinely accessible as an historical biopic of sorts, but never exclusively tied to a timeline. In avoiding becoming too self- righteous towards his subject, Kechiche achieves a lot with his ambitiously-scoped examination of cultural ignorance, and integrates conventional biopic stamps into his outlandish topic. Even if a chunk of Black Venus could acceptably be consigned to the cutting room floor, it's difficult to condemn its unrelenting vision, and the level of interest in its unique appeal makes for a thoroughly worthwhile experience.


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