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

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,453 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
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

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User Reviews

 
Venus noire is a quite beautifully filmed meditation on man's "master and slave" compulsion.
13 April 2011 | by (aroomofonesone) – See all my reviews

While you watch it, this movie will seem too slow, and repetitive. Then you will walk out of the movie theater and start thinking about it: was it too slow to voluntarily short circuit your movie consumer's habits ? was the repetitiousness not unlike some kind of minimalistic serial music? The next day, you will not have completely forgotten the movie, the same way you have completely forgotten the movie you saw the week before. Then, little by little, in the face of the harshness, inhumanity and sheer jungleness of the everyday world, you will think back on Venus noire, on how this movie is a kind of allegory for man's difficulty to care for others. Actually, the repetitiousness of the movie will seem to you not unlike the repetitiousness of man's constant recourse to the "master and slave" scenario to get ahead in life; and the slowness will seem to you not unlike the incredible length of time man is taking to try out some new kinder, less individualistic, more humane scenario which would not only help "the master/s" get ahead. The epilogue images are all about mankind being somehow, sometimes capable of forfeiting its "master and slave" compulsion. Thank you art for reminding us we are capable of that !


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