Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Charles R. Batson




black, french, film, women, director


There are three directors that have revolutionized the world of French cinema by bringing to the forefront topics that make its audiences uncomfortable. Abdellatif Kechiche, director of the film Black Venus (2010), Ousmane Sembène, director of the film Black Girl (1966), and Céline Sciamma, director of the film Girlhood (2014) have become renowned for discussing the portrayal of black women in French society. This is a topic at hand that reveals the devastating truth behind French society in regarding black women during various eras. Black Venus narrates the life of an African woman during the slavery period in Europe. Black Girl is based on the postcolonial era with flashbacks to life during French colonialism in Senegal. Lastly, Girlhood is a contemporary film that follows the lives of young black women in the French suburbs. In contextualizing these three films and analyzing the overall image of black women, audiences are given the opportunity to understand the tragic circumstances these women must endure. My thesis will discuss literature parallels and various negative and positive reviews of each film, and in doing so, readers are able to understand the dynamics of French society overtime.