Streaming now through December 7
Starring the inimitable Josephine Baker, Zou Zou tells of unrequited love and overnight stardom. Already established as a mega-star in France thanks to her iconic stage performances at the Folies Bergère, Baker possessed a palpable screen charisma. Her vivacious energy is undeniable—even despite the film being a product of the derogatory and racist milieus of the early 1930s, and as the film’s story line of rejection and her outsider status leave her eponymous character forsaken. “Baker’s film roles unveil moments when Baker and her characters process loss and the haunting of what might have been as we see them caught between narratives of stardom and invisibility, belonging and alienation.”—Terri Francis, Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism. (Marc Allégret, 1934, French with English subtitles, 92 minutes) Presented in conjunction with the 2021 Rajiv Vaidya Annual Lecture, “Josephine Baker as a ‘Rememory’ of Global Black Cinema?,” delivered by Dr. Terri Simone Francis.
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