You’ve probably read or heard reports published over the last week on Beyoncé’s alleged plans for a feature film based on the life of Saartjie Baartman (aka Hottentot Venus) which was covered by several sites, going viral, although the original source can be traced back to the UK-based tabloid magazine, The Sun.
We didn’t cover it here on S&A because The Sun isn’t what you’d call a reputable news source, and we were waiting for Beyoncé herself (or one of her reps) to confirm (or deny) the report before we mentioned anything of it. That never happened – at least not before today.
This afternoon, in a statement released to Billboard, Beyoncé’s rep says that the singer is absolutely not involved: "Beyoncé is in no way tied to this project," the rep said.
The original report came via The Sun, which said that Beyoncé was planning to both write and star in the film because she is "desperate to be taken seriously as an actress," adding that "she now wants to write a screenplay that gains her respect – and hopefully awards – from the film industry, and thinks Saartjie’s story could be her ticket,” The Sun said.
The report was false. If there is a Baartman film in the works (and we don’t even know that there is), Beyoncé is not involved.
Baartman’s story was most recently told on film in French/Tunisian filmmaker Abdel Kechiche’s "Venus Noire" ("Black Venus"), which Tambay saw at the New York Film Festival in 2010, which he described as "problematic, though worth-watching." Newcomer Yahima Torres starred in the title role. Read Tambay’s review here.
The film was never officially released in the US. Although you can find it on DVD just not in the US.
Here’s a trailer: