Black Venus Belgium, France 2010 – 159min.
In the 19th century, a woman of color is exhibited like an animal at the zoo.
In 1810, Saartjie and her master Caezar leave South Africa to find their fortune on the old continent. Her "owner"'s aim is simple: to exhibit the curvaceous African like a wild animal he's tamed. Presenting his show in the carnivals of seedy London neighborhoods, Caezar promises her celebrity but treats her no better than an animal onstage. Alone and without means, Saartjie sees no choice but to submit to this sordid masquerade. As she tries in vain to escape her tragic destiny, Saartjie can think of no future that doesn’t involve prostitution...
Based on the true story of a woman broken by racist voyeurism, Abdellatif Kechiche sheds light on the shortcomings of a society where the norm prevails, excluding those who don't meet the standard and opening up possibilities for all kinds of abuse. Cruel, violent, disturbing, but without falling into a moralizing trap.