65 minutes- Ousmane Sembene’s debut (Moolaadé) – auteur from Senegal
A potent drama – realism—the story of Diouana—a maid and her experience going from Dakar to France as a maid for a white French family
Landscape shots, her point of view, experiential—authentic.
Captures the French Riviera in 1966
Sembene starts with a few wipe edits but seems to lose interest and it doesn’t stick throughout
Diouana—played by Mbissine Thérèse Diop—is a great character. She’s a hostage as a maid. We get her inner monologue, her frustration, her dreams crashing down. She’s proud, intelligent and chic- dress and jewelry.
A victim— she’s bossed around, a guest of her employer’s says “I’ve never kissed a black woman” and kisses her- she’s compared to an animal.
Two flashbacks to Dakar
Sembene has her narrative every step by step reaction. Ebert had a big problem with this. Sembene does it in a flashback. It is a bit much- stifling. I guess a film like Bresson’s A Man Escaped does it as well but this is different.
“I’m a prisoner” and “slave” in the text
A strong, devastating and grizzly ending. Her suicide juxtaposed with the French sunbathing on the Riviera and reading it in the paper.