A Senegalese woman is eager to find a better life abroad. She takes a job as a governess for a French family, but finds her duties reduced to those of a maid after the family moves to the south of France. In her new country, she is constantly made aware of her race and mistreated by her employers.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what's now showing
In Dakar, a mask is a mask and a woman is a woman. But in France, the mask ceases to be a mask and becomes a wall decoration and Diouanne ceases to be a woman and becomes essentially a slave. It isn't until the beautiful haunting ending when the boy follows Diouanne's old boss like a ghost, that he makes sure the Frenchman never forgets that the mask was always a mask and Diouanne was always a woman.
3,5 Diouana's story is that of many Eastern European women who leave to take care of the old and sick in Western countries, are cooped up in employers' house around the clock, allowed to go out for a few hours on Sunday to attend the mass or the supermarket to buy next week provisions. What does anyone care for their psychical well-being and wear-up? Here's to them. Europe has got its intracontinental blacks aplenty.
Dignity of Work (or lack of), colonialism, the 'other,' racism...An early masterpiece by Sembene! Cool and nearly understated - however the rage against racism does not get buried in favor of bourgeois film sentiments or "the white gaze." This would go well with Gerima's "Bush Mama" as a double feature.