Mute and still unknown
- Black Venus review by EA
Very uncomfortable and pretty voyeuristic. The film starts where Sarah Baartman's remains are discussed by French scientists as evidence of racial inferiority. Then the film moves to early 19th century London where Sarah Baartman is billed as the Hottentot Venus performing to crowds as a sort of sub human curiosity,acting out racist tropes about Africa. She is mute, weighed down with intense sadness,often drinking . Her situation is picked up by lawyers concerned she is being enslaved. The benevolent court didnt ring : slavery was still practised in the colonies-so why the concern about her? In the moment when Sarah meets 2 Black servants, we could have heard her story but this doesn't happen.
The film picks up when Sarah goes to Paris
She continues to be exploited-used as a stimulant for the orgies of the aristocracy; then in a brothel , again where she is used to stimulate perverse or illicit desires. Some details of Sarah's life come to light. But soon, diagnosed as having some STD, she dies.
The story of Sarah Baartman is still unknown.
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