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Directed by Claire Denis • 1988 • France, West Germany, Cameroon
Starring Isaach De Bankolé, Giulia Boschi, François Cluzet
Claire Denis drew on her own childhood experiences growing up in colonial French Africa for her multilayered, languorously absorbing feature debut, which explores many of the themes that would recur throughout her work. Returning to the town where she grew up in Cameroon after many years living in France, a white woman (Mireille Perrier) reflects on her relationship with Protée (Isaach De Bankolé), a Black servant with whom she formed a friendship while not fully grasping the racial divides that governed their worlds.