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Sugar Cane Alley

Rue cases-nègres

Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Joseph Zobel and directed by Euzhan Palcy, Sugar Cane Alley is a critically acclaimed and award-winning coming-of-age story.

Dir-Scr Euzhan Palcy
Prod Michel Loulergue, Alix Régis, Jean-Luc Ormières, Claude Nedjar
With Darling Légitimus, Garry Cadenat, Douta Seck
France-Martinique
1983
103min
Prod Co JMJ International Pictures

José, a bright and mischievous orphan, lives in a small village in 1930s Martinique. Many of the people around him, including his wise and tenacious pipe-smoking grandmother, Ma’Tine, work in the sugar cane fields and are mistreated by the white boss. José has a father figure in the elderly Medouze, who tells him captivating stories about Africa and the cultures that live there. The boy attends school at the insistence of his grandmother – she is ready to sacrifice everything for his chance to attain an education and escape. But when he writes an essay on the lives of poor blacks, he is accused of plagiarism and runs away. Palcy’s film paints a rich picture of life under French colonial rule and remains a stunning and powerful directorial debut.

Julie Pearce

Additional information

Presented by JMJ International Pictures with the support of CNC. 4K digital restoration carried out by Eclair from the original 35mm negative and supervised by director Euzhan Palcy.

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