- 1. Jean Vigo Prize 1966
- 2. Best African feature
Festival of African Arts, Dakar 1966
- 3. 'Golden Tanit'
Carthage Film Festival, 1966
- 4. Will someone be waiting for me?
- 5. You made it all right? Let's go!
- 6. Have a nice crossing?
- 7. Lovely country, France!
- 8. Yes, sir.
- 9. Ermitage Road
- 10. Here we are at last!
- 11. Is that you?
- 12. Hello, Diouana.
- 13. I hope you'll like it here.
- 14. I'll show you your room
while we wait for the children.
- 15. That's your bed.
- 16. And that's the Riviera,
- 17. Juan-Les-Pins, Nice,
- 18. Cannes,
- 19. Antibes.
- 20. Now let's go see the kitchen.
- 21. The kitchen, the bathroom,
- 22. the bedroom, the living room.
- 23. That's all I do!
- 24. That's not what I came to France for!
- 25. What are the people here like?
- 26. The doors are all shut, day and night!
- 27. Night and day!
- 28. I came to take care of children!
- 29. Where are they?
- 30. Why does the mistress
always shout at me?
- 31. I'm no cook! I'm no cleaning woman!
- 32. You're not going to a party!
- 33. You've been dressed like that
for three weeks!
- 34. I bought this apron for you.
- 35. Let's see...
- 36. Turn around.
- 37. We're having guests for lunch.
- 38. Make us rice with mafe.
- 39. Why this apron?
- 40. What am I in this house?
- 41. I was never a cook!
- 42. Why does the mistress want rice?
- 43. In Dakar, her cook never made rice!
- 44. Maybe the rice isn't the same in Dakar.
- 45. I'm here for the children.
Where are they?
- 46. Why did the mistress send for me
if they aren't with her?
- 47. After this rice,
maybe they'll show me the city.
- 48. Maybe we'll go to Cannes,
- 49. Nice, Monte Carlo.
- 50. We'll look at all the pretty shops,
- 51. and when the mistress pays me,
- 52. I'll buy pretty dresses,
- 53. shoes,
- 54. silk undies,
- 55. and pretty wigs.
- 56. And I'll get my picture taken
on the beach,
- 57. and I'll send it back to Dakar,
and they'll all die of jealousy!
- 58. I hope they like my rice.
- 59. My sauce isn't too spicy.
- 60. What if the children don't come?
- 61. - I'm dying to taste it!
- You'll see, it's good but very spicy!
- 62. - Here.
- 63. Thanks.
- 64. Genuine African cooking!
- 65. Please pass the rice.
- 66. You like it?
- 67. - Yes, it's very good!
- Very spicy!
- 68. I like spicy food! I'm in luck!
- 69. Diouana...
- 70. A plate of rice and wine.
- 71. They eat like pigs and jabber away!
- 72. And do they drink!
- 73. A little sauce.
- 74. L'£'S good!
- 75. A bit more.
- 76. You must come to Dakar!
- 77. Africa isn't safe now,
all those civil wars.
- 78. Senegal is safe.
- 79. Yes, it's very good, but a little rich.
- 80. And well-prepared! Your cook's a gem!
- 81. Africans only eat rice.
- 82. - Just what is mafe?
- Is it fattening?
- 83. I hope it's an aphrodisiac!
- 84. Always kidding!
- 85. Thank you, Diouana.
- 86. Do you mind, miss?
- 87. I've never kissed a black woman.
- 88. I've got a feeling she's angry.
- 89. Their independence
has made them less natural.
- 90. He was just joking!
- 91. Your rice was fine! I'm proud of you!
- 92. Make us some good coffee!
- 93. Put that down.
- 94. Come here!
- 95. Public letter-writer
- 96. Where are you going?
- 97. To look for work.
- 98. It all began that morning
- 99. in Dakar.
- 100. I went up and down the stairs
- 101. from one floor to the next.
- 102. It was the same all over.
- 103. Nobody wanted a maid.
- 104. - Think of the future!
- For me, the future is black!
- 105. - A man can't have opinions any more!
- That's obstruction!
- 106. So you say!
- 107. It's in your interest!
- 108. - In your district...
- I'm elected by the people!
- 109. - Not so loud!
- Why not? I say 'no'!
- 110. Think of your family!
- 111. He's right. You have to ease off a bit.
- 112. Excuse me...
- 113. I don't want any!
- 114. He picked me up.
All he did was look at me.
- 115. My mind was elsewhere.
- 116. I had to have work.
- 117. The street was empty
except for two women.
- 118. They were lovely. I watched them go by.
- 119. But he kept on talking.
- 120. He told me about the square
where maids wait for work.
- 121. When we got there, he left me.
- 122. I promised to see him again.
- 123. And like the other girls,
I sat on the curb to wait.
- 124. The sun passed over us several times,
- 125. but we all came back
every morning and evening.
- 126. That morning,
I went to the square as usual.
- 127. The others were there,
- 128. and I sat down on the curb
- 129. as I did every day,
to wait for destiny.
- 130. She came up from behind.
- 131. She passed us in review.
- 132. No one could see her eyes.
- 133. She looked us over one at a time.
- 134. We saw she was looking for a maid.
- 135. They rushed her.
- 136. Each wanted to be chosen.
- 137. The lady backed away
- 138. from all those reaching hands.
- 139. I was getting up
when the lady came towards me
- 140. and asked me if I wanted a job.
- 141. 'Yes, ma'am.'
- 142. - 'Can you care for children?'
- 'Yes, ma'am.'
- 143. 'You've worked for white folks?'
- 144. 'No, ma'am.'
- 145. She hired me anyway. I was happy.
- 146. I had a job!
When I went home that evening,
- 147. I was very, very happy!
- 148. I've got a job!
- 149. I've got a job with white folks!
- 150. As usual, Mother was there.
- 151. And I told her about my job.
- 152. Mother threw down the mask
and told me to be brave.
- 153. Give me the mask
and I'll give you 50 francs on pay day.
- 154. It's for me?
- 155. Yes, ma'am.
- 156. A present from the maid.
- 157. Looks like the real thing!
- 158. You were off yesterday.
This is the new nursery maid.
- 159. Tell her the house rules.
- 160. What she breaks, she pays for.
- 161. - Feed her.
- Yes, ma'am.
- 162. Be careful. Don't fall.
- 163. These are the children.
- 164. Sophie,
- 165. Damien,
- 166. and Philippe.
- 167. Now go play outside.
- 168. In Dakar, I didn't do the cooking
- 169. or the laundry.
- 170. I only cared for the children.
- 171. I took them for walks,
- 172. took them to school,
- 173. and brought them home again.
- 174. I'm not so sure!
- 175. - In Senegal...
- With Senghor, it is.
- 176. I'll have to think it over.
- 177. It's a golden opportunity!
- 178. But all those civil wars!
I'm a family man!
- 179. From a distance,
it seems worse that it is.
- 180. But look at the Congo!
- 181. Senegal isn't the Congo!
And life is easy there.
- 182. How long before I'd get back to France?
- 183. You get leave every two years.
And there's no risk.
- 184. Part of your salary is paid in France.
- 185. It sounds interesting...
- 186. - What about housing?
- Everything is taken care of.
- 187. You'd have no worries.
- 188. The coffee.
- 189. - Does she speak French?
- 190. - She understands.
- 191. I suppose so.
- 192. Like an animal!
- 193. Anyway, she cooks well.
- 194. It's time for us to go.
- 195. - Bye.
- 196. - Bye.
- See you soon.
- 197. You must come to Dakar!
- 198. Now I understand.
- 199. The mistress wanted a housemaid.
- 200. That's why she picked me!
- 201. Why am I here?
- 202. Am I a nursery maid or a housemaid?
- 203. Diouana seems strange.
- 204. Really?
- 205. Look!
- 206. She seems to be wasting away.
- 207. Maybe it's the climate.
- 208. What about the climate?
She's lazy, that's all.
- 209. The children will be back soon.
- 210. We have to think about it.
- 211. Excuse me, I'm going to take a nap.
- 212. Yes, you'd better.
And I won't cut short my vacation!
- 213. I'm fed up with this life!
- 214. All you do is drink!
- 215. You're to stop when the kids come!
- 216. I'm going for a walk.
- 217. She wasn't like that in Dakar.
- 218. Neither was he.
- 219. When the children come,
- 220. who'll do the cooking and washing?
- 221. Back in Dakar they must be saying,
- 222. 'Diouana is happy in France.
- 223. 'She has a good life.'
- 224. For me, France is the kitchen,
- 225. the living room, the bathroom
and my bedroom.
- 226. Where are the people
who live in this country?
- 227. The mistress told me,
- 228. 'You'll see, Diouana,
there are lovely shops in France.'
- 229. Is France that black hole?
- 230. What am I here?
- 231. The cook?
- 232. The cleaning woman?
- 233. The washerwoman?
- 234. And when the kids come,
what else will I have to do?
- 235. I'm alone.
- 236. Did the mistress bring me here
to shut me in?
- 237. That's why she was so nice
to me in Dakar,
- 238. giving me her old dresses,
- 239. her old slips,
- 240. her old shoes.
- 241. I spend my life
between the kitchen and my bedroom.
- 242. Is that living in France?
- 243. Diouana, wake up!
- 244. Get up, lazy-bones!
- 245. Will you get up?
- 246. We're not in Africa!
- 247. I didn't hire you to sleep!
The children are here!
- 248. Diouana, come out of there!
- 249. I know you've finished!
- 250. Come out!
- 251. Come out of there!
- 252. What's going on?
- 253. Diouana won't come out!
- 254. I had to make coffee myself!
- 255. Soon I'll be the maid here!
- 256. - Hello, son.
- Morning, Dad.
- 257. Get dressed.
- 258. Perhaps a rest would do her good.
She needs one.
- 259. - What for?
- She could visit the town.
- 260. She doesn't know anyone here
but the grocer.
- 261. And I'm responsible for her.
- 262. Go play outside.
- 263. Watch out for the window!
- 264. Take those off!
Don't forget you're a maid!
- 265. The kids are here. The picnic's over!
- 266. - Diouana, are you ill?
- No, ma'am.
- 267. Then what is it?
- 268. If you don't work, you won't eat.
- 269. If I don't eat,
I won't take care of the children.
- 270. News from Dakar.
- 271. Diouana, there's a letter for you.
- 272. It's from Dakar.
- 273. - Shall I read it?
- 274. It's from your mother.
- 275. 'My dear daughter,
this is your mother writing.
- 276. 'I've had no news since you left.
- 277. 'I got the address of your employers
through a friend.
- 278. 'My health is getting worse every day.
- 279. 'Why do you leave me penniless?
- 280. 'I've nothing to live on
while you squander your wages.
- 281. 'I know you can't write
but I'm sure your mistress will do it,
- 282. 'as she's a lady and a mother
- 283. 'and gave you
her cast-off clothes for us.
- 284. 'She'll write for you.
- 285. 'You mustn't think only of yourself.
- 286. 'You've sent nothing since you left
and yet you've got your wages.
- 287. 'What do you do with them?
- 288. 'Think of your mother
- 289. 'who has to pay even for water
and who is so poor.
- 290. 'I think of you
and pray for you and your employers.
- 291. 'Your mother.'
- 292. Well, we're going to reply.
- 293. I hope this will help!
- 294. 'Dear Mama,
- 295. 'I got your letter...'
- 296. Now what do you want to say?
- 297. Tell me what to write.
- 298. OK, I'll go on.
Stop me if you don't agree.
- 299. 'Dear Mama, I got your letter.
- 300. 'I'm in good health and I think of you.
- 301. 'My mistress didn't have time
to write for me...'
- 302. That's not true. And it's not my letter.
- 303. My mother didn't write it.
- 304. And I didn't ask him
to write a letter for me.
- 305. And my mistress is no lady.
- 306. It's because I can't write.
- 307. If I could write, I'd tell all about
my mistress' 'kindness'.
- 308. I'm a prisoner here.
- 309. She's mad! After all, it's her mother!
- 310. I'm their prisoner.
- 311. I don't know anyone here.
- 312. No one in my family is here.
- 313. That's why I'm their slave.
- 314. Go play with Diouana.
- 315. Let's go.
- 316. Diouana, we're going to play!
Papa and Mama have gone out.
- 317. This mask is mine.
- 318. The mistress deceived me.
Let her take care of her son.
- 319. She won't feed me,
so she can take care of him herself.
- 320. Can I come in?
- 321. Diouana, when will
my brother and sister be back?
- 322. I don't know!
- 323. I haven't eaten, I won't work.
- 324. I'm not my mistress' plaything.
- 325. They're fighting again!
- 326. That's life in France.
- 327. Why did I want to come to France?
- 328. The mistress had given me
a dress and a suitcase the night before.
- 329. I went for a walk with him
through the city.
- 330. All I could think of was the trip ahead.
- 331. We had a photo taken.
- 332. We quarreled because he got familiar.
- 333. I stormed off in a huff.
- 334. All I could think of was my trip.
- 335. I was going to France!
- 336. Do you think France
is prettier than this?
- 337. How do I know? I've never been there.
- 338. My mistress asked me to go with her.
- 339. - What for?
- For the children.
- 340. He's angry. He's going to say,
- 341. 'That's domestic slavery!'
- 342. My mother has agreed, I'll go to France.
- 343. To France! To France!
- 344. Come down!
- 345. It's sacrilege!
- 346. Will you come down!
- 347. Don't stay up there!
- 348. You hear me?
- 349. Run!
- 350. Jump!
- 351. Come on, I'll take you to France!
- 352. - Just think!
- What about?
- 353. I'm going to France with my mistress.
- 354. - What will you do there?
- I'll visit the country.
- 355. Why is he sulking?
- 356. I'm in his room.
What more does he want?
- 357. I've got to go to France.
- 358. I promised my mistress.
- 359. She didn't do the dishes.
- 360. - Where can she be?
- How should I know?
- 361. Sleeping again!
- 362. On your feet!
- 363. Where's the mask?
- 364. Are you ill?
- 365. No.
- 366. Do you want your money?
- 367. Here's 20,000 francs.
- 368. Ten...
- 369. And twenty.
- 370. Mum, come look.
- 371. What's wrong?
- 372. I don't know. Let her be.
- 373. Why, there's the mask!
- 374. It's mine!
- 375. - Let go!
- It's mine!
- 376. Help!
- 377. - She's out of her mind!
- What's going on?
- 378. She took down the mask.
- 379. But it's hers! She gave it to you!
- 380. The ungrateful wench!
After all I've done for her!
- 381. This mask is mine.
- 382. I bought it for 50 francs.
- 383. Never again will the mistress scold me.
- 384. Never again will she say,
'Diouana, make coffee.'
- 385. Never again, 'Diouana, make rice.'
- 386. Never again,
'Diouana, take off your shoes.'
- 387. Never again,
'Diouana, wash this shirt.'
- 388. Never again, 'Diouana, you're lazy.'
- 389. Never will I be a slave.
- 390. I did not come here for the apron
- 391. or the money.
- 392. Never will she see me again.
- 393. Never will she scold me again.
- 394. Never again, Diouana.
- 395. Never will I see them again.
- 396. The mistress lied.
- 397. She's always lied.
- 398. She'll not lie to me again.
- 399. Never will she lie to me again.
- 400. She wanted to keep me here
as her slave.
- 401. Young negress slashes throat
in employers' bathroom
- 402. We're going back to Dakar.
- 403. Her housecoat.
- 404. Please.
- 405. Follow me.
- 406. This is Diouana's boss.
- 407. Come with me.
- 408. This way.
- 409. Mother, this is Diouana's boss.
- 410. Mister, this is Diouana's mother.
- 411. It's for you.
- 412. Here.
- 413. Take it! It's for you!
- 414. Take it!
- 415. She doesn't want it. Keep your money.