La Noire De

Ousmane Sembene’s film La Noire De (1966) really captures the Marxist approach to understanding how money can have an effect on people’s actions. The scene with the maid’s suicide is powerful because she has been exploited by her employers and she is unhappy with her life dictated by her lack of money, and desire for it. We do not see her commit suicide but, instead see the aftermath of it which is her lying in the tub of blood, with her throat slashed.

This is an extremely powerful image and it really shows the impact of money and power. It makes a moral statement to its viewers who may be exploiting people themselves, whether or not they want this blood on their hands. I agree with what we discussed in class about the music really setting a mood. The drum beats are very repetitive and stay with you, the same way that the image of those who fall victim to colonization do also. The track back camera work of the little brother in the mask following the male employer was well done too. It really drove home the message of not being allowed to escape the effects of colonization, no matter how quick you try to run away, or pretend it isn’t following you. Sembene’s message comes across clear, at least to me, like many post-colonial novels that give the colonized a voice.

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1 Response to La Noire De

  1. Amy Herzog says:

    Very perceptive take on the politics of this film…

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