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Oct 9, 2015 12:49 PM
The final festival screening of African classic Black Girl will get underway at BFI Southbank shortly. Georgia Korossi caught the film earlier in the week, and was thoroughly impressed.
Ousmane Sembène, the father of African cinema, once said “I don’t just want to make films for entertainment but films to trigger thought”. His debut feature Black Girl (1966) not only embodies this philosophy perfectly, it also puts Africa on the cinematic world map.
Winner of both the 1966 Prix Jean Vigo for best feature film and the Tanit d’or award at the Carthage Film Festival, the story follows Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop) from Dakar to France, where she takes a job as a nanny. Christian Lacoste’s exquisite cinematography juxtaposes the natural beauty of Dakar with the charm of the French Riviera and the lethargy of its bourgeois inhabitants.
Following a major new restoration supported by the World Cinema Foundation, the film has never looked or sounded better. Its nostalgic ambience, use of close-ups and magnificent score offer a feast for the senses. Black Girl’s central message - that money doesn’t bring happiness – is movingly conveyed, and Sembène’s on-screen appearance as a teacher is a real treat.
Black Girl screens together with Borom Sarret (1963).
Oct 9, 2015 11:54 AM
There’s an array of heavy hitters making their festival debuts today. Odeon Leicester Square plays host to Gala premieres of two eagerly anticipated titles - Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise and Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash.
UK audiences will also get their first chance to see US indie sensation Tangerine, while the Official Competition hots up with the premiere of The Daughter, a radical interpretation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck.
Over at BFI IMAX, viewers can expect to have their minds blown by The Forbidden Room, a slice of inspired insanity from co-directors Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson.
Judging by the response to festival press screenings, there’s every reason to be extremely excited about today’s line-up.