Her Voice

Siren of the Tropics

La sirène des tropiques

Josephine Baker’s performance shines through the screen in this rags-to-riches tale.

Image from Siren of the Tropics

France 1927
Dirs Mario Nalpas, Henri Étiévant
With Josephine Baker, Pierre Batcheff, Régina Dalthy
With recorded score

Josephine Baker became the first black woman to star in a feature film. In Maurice Dekobra’s story, wide-eyed Papitou (Baker) falls in love with a prospector and leaves her home in the Antilles for Paris, where she’s transformed into a stunning music-hall beauty. Baker’s talent in performance shines through to the last frames of the film.