Mariannes Noires


Recent violence and growing nationalism in France have brought fierce debates about the country’s identity to the forefront. In Mariannes Noires, seven different French-born women of African descent confront their own unique identities and challenge the expectations of French society. While some came from great privilege, and others came from nothing at all, they each have attained a high level of success and influence, which they use to increase visibility for Black women in France. However, despite their power, their achievements, and their leadership, and no matter their class background or ancestral heritage, they all survive systemic inequality.

In this documentary, they take us through their battles and retrace their most grueling paths in order to understand the social confines that have affected them professionally, psychologically, and emotionally. They share their ideas and solutions to France’s most daunting issues at the heavy intersection of racism and misogyny, and they bravely lead the way forward.

Directed by

  • Mame-Fatou Niang

  • & Kaytie Nielsen

Director of Photography

  • Joe Hill

Assistant Camera

  • Heather Cowie


  • Aline Tacite

  • Maboula Soumahoro

  • Elisabeth Ndala

  • Fati Niang

  • Bintou Dembele

  • Alice Diop

  • Isabelle Boni-Claverie


  • Iris Beaumier

  • Asha Thomas

  • Anne-Marie "Nach" Van

  • Qudus Onikeku