Venus Noire: an accusation to the imperialistic culture
Everything is focused on a body, that of Sarah Baartman Saartjie, the Hottentot Venus belonging to one of the most primitive tribes of southern Africa. At the end of 1800 she was brought by his 'master' to a human circus in London as well as to science-academies in Paris, going from bourgeois salons to worehouses, becoming a sexual object for everyone. The woman's body is the true object of Venus Noire, the new film by Abdellatif Kechiche: a different body, observed, analyzed, degraded, also raped by an imperialist culture that wants to underline the difference between ‘us’ and ‘them’. "One thing I wanted to show - said the director – was that the metamorphosis is not so much in the character of Venus, but in the audience: Saartjie was an artist, but people wanted to enjoy her exotic and wild appearance. So she ended up becoming not what she wanted to be but what the audience wanted to see".
The film explores the facts of a true story and points out to a self-referential and violent environment, the occidental world. "Scientists - emphasizes Kechiche - wanted to prove that Venus was closer to apes than to women. It was a colonial attitude: if you take away from Africans any kinship with humans, it will be easier to oppress them ". --Luca Rossi