Director Abdellatif Kechiche's Black Venus arrives on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy

Black VenusBetween 2007’s Couscous, winner of three César Awards, and the Cannes triumph of 2013’s Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche made 2010’s Black Venus, a stark portrait of the life of Saartjie Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman from southwestern Africa who, in the early 19th century, was exhibited in Europe under the title, ‘Hottentot Venus’.

Black Venus

In 1810, Baartman was taken from her home as a 21-year-old by Hendrik Cesars and Alexander Dunlop and shipped to London, where her unique physique made her a huge attraction in a variety of freak shows, beginning with a residency at the Egyptian Hall of Piccadilly Circus. But as her ‘fame’ spread, so too did her exploitation, which ended with her death, aged just 26, on 29 December 1815.

Centred on a remarkable performance by Cuban actor Yahima Torres as Baartman, Black Venus (which won the Equal Opportunity Award at the 2010 Venice International Film Festival) provides a bleak but barbed exploration of sex, science, race, colonialism and social attitudes.

Black Venus

Director Abdellatif Kechiche’s Black Venus is out now on Blu-ray from Arrow Academy.

Special features
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Optional 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks
• Optional English subtitles
• Brand-new appreciation of Black Venus and the cinema of Abdellatif Kechiche by critic Neil Young
• Theatrical trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring and original newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain
• Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Will Higbee, author of Post-Beur Cinema: North African Émigré and Maghrebi-French Filmmaking in France Since 2000