top of page
Iris Eiffel Tower Night.jpg

Recent violence and growing nationalism in France have brought fierce debates about the country’s identity to the forefront. In Mariannes Noires, seven French-born women of African and Caribbean descent unravel what it means to be Black and French; to be Black in France. They are entrepreneurs, scholars, filmmakers, dancers, and artists, whose Frenchness is rooted in a cultural space stretching from metropolitan France to Africa and its many diasporas. This documentary is a mosaic of seven narratives that raise the veil on a multicultural France.

"The issue that's posed is the redefinition of French identity, and what it means to be French today."

-Isabelle Boni-Claverie

Isabelle Boni-Claverie


Bintou Dembélé
Alice Diop
Elisabeth Ndala
Fati Niang
Maboula Soumahoro
Aline Tacite


dance and movement by Iris Beaumier

Other performances by:

Asha Thomas
Anne-Marie "Nach" Van
Qudus Onikeku

Directed, produced and edited by

Mame-Fatou Niang & Kaytie Nielsen

Director of Photography:

Joe Hill

[See Joe's work at Vice News here.]

First AC:

Heather Cowie

Sound Mixer:

Christina Gonzalez


Mame-Fatou Niang is an associate professor of French and Francophone Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Her most recent book, Identités Françaises, examines Afro-French identities and the works of female writers of the banlieue. She is also a photographer and the co-author of a photo series on Black French Islam. Her areas of research include Blackness in contemporary France, Black/African diasporas, film studies, gender in urban studies, and race and (de)commemoration.

Follow her on Twitter

Kaytie Nielsen is a writer and filmmaker from Texas. She’s currently a 2019-2021 Marshall Scholar pursuing a Master’s in Public Histories at Birkbeck, University of London. She served as the co-producer, DP, and editor of Quiero, a digital talk show about Latinx ambition. As a 2016-2017 Luce Scholar, she spent a year in New Delhi, India working as a cinematographer, editor, and writer for the Jamun collective. Before moving to the UK, she worked as a Writers Room Assistant for HBO’s Divorce

See more here.

bottom of page