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Sugar Cane Alley

4.8 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Garry Cadenat, Darling Légitimus, Douta Seck, Joby Bernabé, Francisco Charles
  • Directors: Euzhan Palcy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: New Yorker Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 5, 2004
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TSZMO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,109 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sugar Cane Alley" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on November 16, 2007
Format: DVD
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......
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Format: VHS Tape
The first time I saw this film was in college when our history teacher showed it to us to aide in our discussion of the post emancipation period in West Indian culture. It is one of the most dramatic and historically correct films I have ever seen. The issues dealt with reflect the concerns of the "free man". One can see the emerging importance of education in the building up of the free black community in Martinique during that period as well as the nature of black /white relationships on all levels. For anyone who desires to know more about post emancipation life in the West Indies this is your most entertaining chance. I praise this most dedicated and talented Caribbean film director for an excellent review of a most interesting period in West Indian life. This is and will always be one of my favorite films next to The Sound of Music and Schindler's List. Thanks go out to you Mr.David Omowale Franklin, my most dynamic former sociology and history teacher, for introducing me to Sugar Cane Alley.
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Format: DVD
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...
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Format: DVD
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.
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By K. Ali on October 23, 2000
Format: DVD
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
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By Lily on September 30, 2012
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I saw this movie a long time ago. I think it's a great adorable film for all ages. I used it to teach high schoolers, they enjoyed it.

I was anxious to get it again. I was dissappointed to get it in VHS. I would love to find it in DVD.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sugar Cane Alley,A New Yorker films release,the same company that released Dona Flor and her 2 Husbands amongst others,brings 1930's Martinique to life,in a bittersweet provocative film about a little boy Jose growing up in a poor sharecropper/servitude like existance in what is called"black Alley".Jose has a hardworking,loving, but tough grandmother as his sole relation(no mention really made of his mother or father)Also for moral spiritual support his best friend an elderly man called Medouze;who teches Jose about life and to think big beyond his present condition.Carmen is Jose's friend as well a boatman/house servant who is a charming ladies man who dreams of making it in Hollywood. This movie is filmed in a dreamy sepia tone color that's attractive AND interesting,I've never seen anything like it before this film,it serves to highlight the charecters and time and place extremely well.There are many charecters who come in and out of Jose's life and he takes them and all their idosyncrasies in stride,he's very mature responsible and has more common sense than most of the adults in the movie yet he is still a boy.I loved this film for the child's intelligence and looking at the world from his eye's.His world is harsh and at times cruel on many levels,However he maintains his focus on getting an education and providing his grandmother with a life that will be comfortable and filled with all the good things they've never had.I know many people don't care for subtitled films,this should be the exception,it's really worth viewing!,it gives you a good feeling to see this child being victorious over everything and knowing he will make it, no matter what life puts in his path. If you do buy or rent this film I also recommend the documentary"The Agronomist" it's not exactly like this film b ut worth checking out.
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