venus_noireCollaboration with Press-club Mumbai, introduction by Rafique Baghdadi

Venus Noire by Abdelatif Kechiche (166’)

The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, leaves 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 have taken an interest in her unusual anatomy and declare her to be the missing link from ape to man.

In partnership with Press-Club Mumbai and Institut Français