Black Venus

Synopsis

After winning five awards at the 2007 Venice festival with The Secret of the Grain, Kechiche took on a period piece that illustrates racial science, abolitionism, public entertainments and sexuality in the early nineteenth century. He uses the remarkable story of Saartjie Baartman, the so-called Hottentot Venus, whose outsized features became a freak show attraction in London and Paris. The film is constructed as a series of vignettes that follow Baartman as she is put on display, but Kechiche insists on her inner dignity despite her constant, terrifying humiliation.

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