“La Niore de” Review


Throughout history minorities have always been treated different because they were thought to be inferior to "superior races". Minorities have always had a constant struggle to be better and do better, even if the odds were against them. In the film La Niore de we are shown Diouanna a black servant who has dreams and visions, yet she has a constant struggle of freedom with her employers. 


In the beginning of the film we are shown Diouanna arriving at a port. From the initial look she seems as if she is traveling on vacation, she is dressed nice and seems to be anticipating something great. The first few scenes of the car ride to the apartment are filled with beautiful scenery that Diouanna probably cannot wait to see on her own. The car ride also gives her a sense of hope and that she made the right choice in coming to France.


In the course of the film, we are shown how Diouanna came to be under employment and some of her life in Dakar. In the flashback she is first shown looking for a job on the streets of Dakar. Her future employer Madame appears and chooses Diouanna out of a group of women. In gratitude to her new employers she brings them an authentic mask from her village. The viewer can tell that Diouanna is excited about her new job because she constantly smiles. 


During her time in Nice, Diouanna is becoming more withdrawn and more upset at the situation her employers have her stuck in. Diouanna was brought to work under false pretenses and she knows it. Once she figures out what is happening she begins to show acts of resistance towards her employers. Even Madame mentions to her husband that Diouanna is acting different. In one scene Diouanna says France is nothing but a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and her bedroom to her; because that is all she has seen of France. The viewer never sees Diouanna leave the apartment. 

In another flashback Diouanna has she is with her boyfriend. He doesn't want her to go to Nice, he tells her that she will regret going. Despite her warning Diouanna is shown excited and happy, she thinks will go to France and began a better life because of all the promises Madame makes her. We are also shown an act of resistance when she is with her boyfriend at a memorial in Dakar. Diouanna is seen running along the top of the memorial, she ignores her boyfriend’s cries telling her to get down, that it is sacred. This shows the viewer that Diouanna has problems with any type of authority, even her own boyfriend.


Throughout the film Diouanna tried to remain in her clothing that made her feel like a lady. She wanted to dress better and act better than her counterparts back in Dakar. It seems as though Madame figured out what she was doing and wanted to reduce Diouanna down from her level. Madam is shown in several scenes yelling at Diouanna to take off her dressy clothes. During the first few weeks she remains in her dressy attire, we see her eventually wear flats and more normal clothing, which could be seen as an act of submission to Madame. Towards the end of the film during one of Diouanna’s acts of rebellion, Madame yells again telling Diouanna to take off her heels and not to forget that she is the maid. In another act of defiance Diouanna takes off her shoes on the middle of the floor and walks off.


At the end of the film Diouanna’s tone of voice changes after the fight with Madame about the mask, when Diouanna is at the end of her wits. She speaks so angrily. In her final act of resistance she keeps repeating that she will no longer be treated badly by her employers.  She goes to the bathroom, one of her many “views” of France, and commits suicide in her natural form. The natural form being her native hairstyle and naked, nothing to hold her back, no longer under the “captivity” of her employers. 


Diouanna shows clear rebellion toward her employers because she is deceived by them. Diouanna went from a happy girl anticipating great things in France, to the unhappy woman who kills herself to be free from her employers.