21 user 47 critic

Black Girl (1966)

La noire de... (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 1966 (Senegal)
1:21 | Trailer
A black girl from Senegal becomes a servant in France.


Ousmane Sembene


Ousmane Sembene (based on a novella by), Ousmane Sembene
2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Mbissine Thérèse Diop Mbissine Thérèse Diop ... Diouana
Anne-Marie Jelinek Anne-Marie Jelinek ... Madame (as Anne-Marie Jelinck)
Robert Fontaine Robert Fontaine ... Monsieur
Momar Nar Sene Momar Nar Sene ... Diouana's Boyfriend
Ibrahima Boy Ibrahima Boy ... Boy with Mask
Bernard Delbard Bernard Delbard ... Young Male Guest
Nicole Donati Nicole Donati ... Young Female Guest
Raymond Lemeri Raymond Lemeri ... Old Male Guest (as Raymond Lemery)
Suzanne Lemeri Suzanne Lemeri ... Old Female Guest (as Suzanne Lemery)
Philippe Philippe ... Couple's Oldest Son
Sophie Sophie ... Couple's Daughter
Damien Damien ... Couple's Youngest Son
Toto Bissainthe Toto Bissainthe ... Diouana (voice)
Robert Marcy Robert Marcy ... Monsieur (voice)
Sophie Leclerc Sophie Leclerc ... Madame (voice)


A Senegalese woman is eager to find a better life abroad. She takes a job as a governess for a French family, but finds her duties reduced to those of a maid after the family moves from Dakar to the south of France. In her new country, the woman is constantly made aware of her race and mistreated by her employers. Her hope for better times turns to disillusionment and she falls into isolation and despair. The harsh treatment leads her to consider suicide the only way out. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This is believed to be the first feature film made by a black African in sub-Saharan Africa. See more »


When Diouana goes to bed, she is wearing her wig. When wakes up, she is in curlers. See more »


Madame: The ungrateful wench! After all I've done for her!
See more »

Alternate Versions

A 70 min. version includes a color sequence. It was cut to adjust to the length requirements of the French producers. See more »

User Reviews

While the film is far from perfect, it is very important...
24 February 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This Senegalese film is very important. It's a film made by black filmmakers and espouses a very strong black nationalist attitude. Because of this, it must have really struck a chord for African film patrons.

"Black Girl" is a film about a young woman from Senegal that has taken a job working for a white French family. She thinks she was hired to take care of the children but the woman of the house sees Diouana as a personal servant and soon this young lady finds herself working as a maid--and an under-appreciated on at that. Part of the problem is a communication barrier between the white family and Diouana as often neither quite understands the other's expectations. Part of it is the wife is rather cold and sees the Africans as being dumb and beneath her. Where does all this end up? Well, in a sad way it's a giant 'I'm not gonna take it any more' from Diouana--much like the attitude through the continent towards their colonial or former colonial masters.

While this is a very important film and it would be great to use in a class about African cinema or world history, technically speaking it has a few small shortcomings. It's not the smoothest or highest quality production--but considering its humble roots, I can easily look past that and it's still worth seeing if you are patient and can appreciate the context for when it was made (such as the Patrice Lumumba banner briefly seen in a tiny portion of the film).

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Senegal | France



Release Date:

1966 (Senegal) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Girl See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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