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Black Venus (2010)

Vénus noire (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, History | 27 October 2010 (France)
The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and ... See full summary »

Writers:

Abdellatif Kechiche (original scenario), Abdellatif Kechiche (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yahima Torres ... Saartjie 'Sarah' Baartman
Andre Jacobs ... Hendrick Caezar
Olivier Gourmet ... Réaux
Elina Löwensohn ... Jeanne
François Marthouret François Marthouret ... Georges Cuvier
Michel Gionti Michel Gionti ... Jean-Baptiste Berré
Jean-Christophe Bouvet ... Charles Mercailler, le journaliste
Jonathan Pienaar Jonathan Pienaar ... Alexander Dunlop
Rémi Martin Rémi Martin ... Le premier client du bordel
Jean-Jacques Moreau Jean-Jacques Moreau ... Henri de Blainville
Cyril Favre Cyril Favre ... Le premier aide naturaliste
Dominique Ratonnat Dominique Ratonnat ... Le 2e aide naturaliste
Didier Bourguignon Didier Bourguignon ... Le 3e aide naturaliste
Ralph Amoussou Ralph Amoussou ... Harry, le premier domestique
Alix Serman Alix Serman ... Matthew, le deuxième domestique
Edit

Storyline

The story of Saartjes Baartman, a Black domestic who, in 1808, left Southern Africa, then ruled by Dutch settlers, for Europe, following her boss Hendrick Caesar , hoping to find fame and fortune there. Once in London her master turned manager does nothing but exhibit her as a freak in a phony and humiliating carnival show. After a series of troubles caused by their act, Caesar, Saartje and their new friend, bear-tamer Réaux, head for Paris where once again, and against her will, she has to mimic savagery and expose her body, first in carnivals, then in the aristocratic salons of Paris, later on among the libertines and finally in brothels where she ends up being a prostitute. In the meantime, French anatomists will have taken an interest in her unusual anatomy (enormous buttocks and labia) only to declare her the missing link from ape to man. In 1815, aged only 27, she dies alone, of a combination of pneumonia and venereal disease. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MK2 [France]

Country:

France | Belgium

Language:

French | Afrikaans | English | Dutch

Release Date:

27 October 2010 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Venus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was based on true events See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Difficult True Story to Tell Done Well
8 May 2014 | by hoxjenniferSee all my reviews

This film is NOT for the faint of heart. Nothing is censored, just the bare naked (literally) truth. Black Venus tells the true story of Sarah (Baptized name) Baartman, a South African woman of Khoisan descent who in the early 19th century was led on false pretenses of fame and fortune to England only to be exploited for her body.

I watched this film with a basic understanding of Sarah's biography. With this in mind, I am a little surprised that the film didn't get a higher rating. Yes, it is difficult to watch. Yes, it shows exploitation and abuse at its finest (if that's even the correct word to use here). Yes, there is shocking and pornographic scenes that are not suitable for the faint of heart. Yes, you will be disgusted.

But you should be. This is a very accurate portrayal of what happened to the true "Venus of Hottentot." She was exploited for her body, people paid to touch her buttocks and her genitalia was a matter of scientific intrigue. This movie is not a pleasant watch, but the topic itself is not a pleasant truth. This is a dark side of history that is difficult to explore, and the director and the main actress do a wonderful job of portraying it as such.

History buffs, this film is for you - especially if you are interested in African/Women's history. For the faint of heart, avoid this film - and for the curious, make sure you know fully well what you're getting into.


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