BLACK VENUS

A film by Abdellatif Kechiche

Cast : Elina Lowensohn, Andre Jacobs, Olivier Gourmet, Yamina Torres

2010 / drama / France / original title : VÉNUS NOIRE / 162’ / Color / status : completed / French / Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 12 / long feature-film / French catalog

Paris 1817, at the Royal Academy of Medicine. «I have never seen a human head so similar to that of an ape». Standing by a molded cast of Saartjie Baartman’s body, anatomist Georges Cuvier’s verdict is categoric. A group of distinguished colleagues breaks out in cheers. Seven years earlier, Saartjie left her native South Africa with her master, Caezar, to expose her body to the audiences of London’s freak shows. Free and enslaved all at the same time, the «Hottentot Venus» became an icon in the slums, destined to be sacrificed in the pursuit of a shimmering vision of prosperity.

Press

“A terrific subject coupled with the helmer’s growing rep guarantees multi-territory sales, including Stateside”

Variety

“A superb, weighty film about colonial exploitation and sex and morality”

The Observer