6.9/10
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17 user 48 critic

Vénus noire (2010)

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 »

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(original scenario), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Jeanne
François Marthouret ...
Georges Cuvier
Michel Gionti ...
Jean-Baptiste Berré
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Charles Mercailler, le journaliste
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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
...
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

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Drama | History

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Release Date:

27 October 2010 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Black Venus  »

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1.85 : 1
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French visa # 112112. See more »

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User Reviews

 
liked 'Games...'and '...Grain'...but HATE this abusive film by Kechiche
20 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

This film exuberantly participates in the very abuse it purports to critique, debasing its actors, it audience, and most unforgivably, its subject. There is but one well-composed shot--of Saartjie and a journalist departing in a carriage--otherwise it is chock-full of lazily composed close ups of repulsive people doing repulsive things to an inscrutable, and hence utterly unknowable, totally cardboard, victim--one who can drink, smoke, cry, cough, yes, but what the hell is she thinking?! The director lets us in on nothing--she remains silent, acted upon, never reacting much less actually taking action! The one time in the screenplay that she resists unwelcome scrutiny, her decision is rendered incomprehensible by all the other exploitative events in the lamentable tale--based loosely, very, very, loosely, upon a true life-story. And sorry, but there is absolutely no need to cheapen the depth of the real woman's tragedy by all too simplistically literalizing (the totally un- historical) prostitution of Saartjie Baartman (note: I do not believe this is in any way a spoiler). Wow, I have never hated a movie this much--and I had high expectations because of thefascinating subject and because I very much enjoyed the filmmaker's "secret in the grain" (but for the indulgently long belly- dance) and "the games of love and chance"...but this one is hideously, monstrously, unforgivably, exploitative of a woman who has already suffered enough.


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