Thursday: "Black Girl"

July 13

Ousmane Sembene's "Black Girl”—a Senegalese tragedy about Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop, in one of the best performances in any movie), a young woman who goes from Dakar to Antibes, France to work for a wealthy white couple—is often credited with kicking off international interest in African cinema. It is also a domestic, radical cinematic cousin to "Battle Of Algiers," an additional indictment of French colonialism. As scholar Sohail Daulatzai noted in his 2016 book, "Fifty Years of The Battle of Algiers: Past as Prologue," movies out of the Middle East, South America, and Africa (what he calls “third cinema”) "narrate national liberation struggles, express the complexities of nation building, and also seek to close the gap between artists and the people by creating dialogue through a cinematic practice that engaged popular struggles." Sembene's debut is just an hour or so long and it employs a number of documentary and Western independent cinema techniques to tell its story tersely and with maximum impact all rolling toward a devastating conclusion. See "Black Girl" for free at the Parkway as part of a whole month of free world cinema movies on Thursday nights. “Black Girl” is the second Senegalese cinema contribution that has screened at the Parkway following May's showing of Djibril Diop Mambéty's 1973 surreal road movie "Touki Bouki." 7:30 p.m., The Parkway, 5 W. North Ave., (410) 752-8083, mdfilmfest.com, free. (Brandon Soderberg)

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