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Sugar Cane Alley
Sugar Cane Alley
Actors: Garry Cadenat, Darling Legitimus, Douta Seck, Joby Bernabé, Francisco Charles
Director: Euzhan Palcy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
PG     2004     1hr 43min

Touching without being sentimental, political without being preachy, this story set in 1930s Martinique is both lyrical and powerful. Writer-director Euzhan Palcy tells the story of a young boy who is orphaned at the age o...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Garry Cadenat, Darling Legitimus, Douta Seck, Joby Bernabé, Francisco Charles
Director: Euzhan Palcy
Creators: Dominique Chapuis, Euzhan Palcy, Marie-Josèphe Yoyotte, Alix Régis, Jean-Luc Ormières, Michel Loulergue, Joseph Zobel
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Family Life
Studio: New Yorker Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/05/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: French, French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Finally on DVD
M. Green | 09/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm delighted that this film is finally on DVD. A 'growing up' tale of a boy and his grandmother's determination to see him leave the sugarcane plantations and achieve a better life.

Memorable film making, this is not a complicated story, but clearly deeply felt by the writer/director, and it has a old fashioned depth and pace to it that contrasts vividly (to this film's advantage) with Hollywood's empty flashiness.

It reminds me in some ways of another little-known gem and growingup tale, Allen Fong's Father and Son, a Hong Kong movie.

One quibble - why change the name?

A big hand however for making this available on DVD and resisting the temptation to dub it for American audiences, who apparently don't like sub-titles..."
A beautiful film.......
D. Pawl | Seattle | 11/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"SUGAR CANE ALLEY was my introduction to the culture of Martinique during the 1930s. This beautiful 1983 release, directed by Euzhan Palcy, is a powerful and sensitively made character study. It follows the plight of Jose (Garry Cadenat), an eleven year old boy living with his grandmother, M'Man Tine (Darling Legitimus) in one of the poorest sections of the island. The only way the locals can (barely) sustain themselves is to toil away in the sugar cane fields (hence, the title of the film)-- a back-breaking and thankless job. The one way out of this toil and poverty is a good education. M'Man Tine knows this all too well and wants to spare her grandson the pain, anguish and great struggle that they encounter around them in spades. Jose applies himself in school and proves himself to be an eloquent, intelligent and wise-beyond-his-years writer. Will Jose's true gift be his (and his grandmother's) ticket out of the slums? You'll have to watch the film and see for yourself.

SUGAR CANE ALLEY received critical acclaim for its sensitive and realistic portrayal of the poor, Black experience in 1930s Martinique. This is a must-see for French students, anyone interested in the culture/history of Martinique or anyone looking to watch a powerful film about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of great adversity. Just beautiful......"
Forget the subtitles - This is a great movie for anyone to s
Tremis | New York, NY | 07/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I really enjoyed this movie. Seeing a story of what life was like during that time in the Caribbean really showed me that black people are the same no matter where we are. This move is about a young man growing up in a sugar cane field and he is very smart and talented. He has the family support he needs around him, and with his intelligence and determination, he wins a scholarship to a top school in the island's main town. What makes it more powerful is that by the time he achieves all this success, his father figure and mother figure die. It is almost as if they were meant to be in his life to carry him to that point and then leave the earth because they did they came to do.

I don't care that the movie was in French with English subtitles, I really wish that people made more movies like this. Very good movie."
De rigueur
Sea Air | 10/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a French major and prospective teacher of French, I ofcourse find this a valuable tool for the classroom--BUT it's so muchmore than that! Since it's so often used in the classroom people tendto neglect that this is an outstanding film, beautifully put togetherwith some memorable acting. Anyone studying West Indian literaturewill get a chance to see in full color an outstanding representationof life in colonial Caribbean. (French teachers can also note that inusing a DVD you have the advantage of switching off the subtitles formore advanced students. And certainly native speakers will appreciatethis feature.) END"