Drama directed by Ousmane Sembène, writing credits : Ousmane Sembène, cast (in credits order) : M'Bissine Thérèse Diop, Anne - Marie Jelinek, Robert Fontaine, Momar Nar Sesse, Ibrahima Boy, Bernard Delbard, Nicole Donati, Raymond Lemeri, Suzanne Lemeri, Philippe, Sophie, Damien, Toto Bissainthe, Robert Marcy, Sophie Leclerc, Ousmane Sembène, produced by : André Zwoboda, cinematography by : Christian Lacoste, film editing by : André Gaudier, camera and electrical department : Ibrahima Barro (assistant camera), Pathé Diop (assistant camera), producers : Domirev, the french actualities.
Shooted in 1966 the Ousman Sembene's movie "Black girl" speaks about of an actual topic : the modern slavery. This film belongs clearly to the italian neo - realism movement but his soul is clearly african. This film has been restaured by the Film Foundation created by Martin Scorsese in collaboration with the Sembene estate, the french national institute of audiovisuel, the Eclair laboritory and the national center of cinematography. He has recieved the Jean Vigo prize in 1966 and Ousmanbe Sembène was the first non french director who has recieved this award.
Diouana is a poor young woman who leaves in the inner city of Dakar the capital of Senegal with her family. This young woman has the ambition to look for a job for having a better life. She becomes to look for a job in the administration but the politicians and the civil servants aren't interested by her case. She tries after to work for private african and european owners but she is rejected.
During her searches she meets a young boy who speaks all the times ans who tries to seduce her. He shows to her european magazines like "Elle" or "Nous deux" ans says that everything is easy in Europe and specially in France. After that he tooks her to a place where poor young women stay all the time. They are waiting here all the day for finding and employer.
An european woman remarks Diouana and gives her a job. She becomes to be kind with Diouana but she is very authoritarian with the others employees who work for her. She proposes to Diouana to go with her in France. Diouana is really happy and she accepts the proposition of this woman. Diouana explain to her mother that she has founded a job but her mother gives her the advise to stay a courageous woman.
Diouana arrives in France by boat but nobody is waiting for her at the harbour. Her employers are a couple who leave on the french riviera. The husband is a weak man who drinks a lot and his wife an authoritarian woman. In Africa she looked like kind but in France she shows her real personnality. The Diouana's daily is restricted like a prison in three rooms : the kitchen, the bathroom and her room. Her employer reproaches her all the times to be well dressed, to have nice shoes and she gives her the order to work very hardly. She speaks about Diouana with racists words and sometimes she beats Diouana and refuses to give her foods. The Diouana employer will have the cruelty to write a wrong letter and to give this letter to Diouana. In this letter it's written that Diouana is a bad girl who let her mother down.
Diouana understands that she is a modern slave and that her employers don't like her. She refuses to stay a slave and she decides to kill herself. Her suicide isn't something very important for the papers. It is just invoked in the news in brief inside the local paper. Her employers decide to go back to Senegal and to give her personnal affairs (including a mask she has given to her employers as a gift) to her mother. The man finds again the Diouana family inside the inner city of Dakar but the eyes of each members of her family are full of contempt. The mother of Diouana refuses also the money he gives to her. The young brother of Diouana put the Diouana mask on his face and follow the man towards the streets of the inner city. He wants to show that the ghost of Diouana will prosecute him.