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Black Venus (2010)

Vénus noire (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 27 October 2010 (France)
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 »


Abdellatif Kechiche (original scenario), Abdellatif Kechiche (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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


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


Drama | History


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

MK2 [France]


France | Belgium


French | Afrikaans | English | Dutch

Release Date:

27 October 2010 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Venus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


French visa # 112112. See more »

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User Reviews

What is exploited?
28 August 2011 | by stenssonSee all my reviews

This is the story of the black woman in the early 1800s, shown on cheap varieties as the so called Hottentott Venus. She behaves like an animal, is treated on stage as an animal and is regarded as such by the rude audiences.

She isn't a slave. Not technically, but the agreement with her employer is of course on his terms. There are also other forms of performances. This woman also acts in front of Parisian high society and not at least in front of the scientists of the time, who find resemblances with the orangutan.

What her employers is exploiting is not just this woman; they also exploit racism and the different kind of audiences let their racism be exploited. There are of course money to be made from prejudices. 200 years ago and now. This our lesson.

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