Movie Diary 11/1/2022

Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene, 1966). First time seeing this in 20 years – it’s another one for class. The situation is a young African woman who comes to the south of France to work as a housekeeper for a white family, and becomes effectively trapped within the walls of their apartment – the blank walls are oppressive even before she settles into the place. As Sembene suggested, it is really the story of a mask that is taken from Africa and must be returned there to set things right. A small masterpiece, but it’s one of those hour-long movies that feel like a completely full film, with nothing wasted and nothing further needed.