Martinique, in the early 1930s. Young José and his grandmother live in a small village. Nearly everyone works cutting cane and barely earning a living. The overseer can fine a worker for ... See full summary »
Languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last ... See full summary »
Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »
The true story of Ruby Bridges, an African-American girl who, in 1960 at age 6, helped to integrate the all-white schools of New Orleans. Although she was the only black girl to come to the... See full summary »
Penelope Ann Miller,
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Samuel L. Jackson,
A self-absorbed Black American fashion model on a photo shoot in Africa is spiritually transported back to a plantation in the West Indies where she experiences first-hand the physical and ... See full summary »
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In 1942 in occupied France, a Jewish refugee marries a soldier to escape deportation to Germany. Meanwhile a wealthy art student loses her first husband to a stray Resistance bullet; at the... See full summary »
A sensitive, educated black man's World War II-time problems. This is essentially the duplicate of his peace-time problems which are pointed up in a flashback of his life, and primarily of ... See full summary »
Martinique, in the early 1930s. Young José and his grandmother live in a small village. Nearly everyone works cutting cane and barely earning a living. The overseer can fine a worker for the smallest infraction. The way to advance is to do well in school. José studies hard and succeeds in an exam allowing him to attend school in the capital. With only a partial scholarship, the tuition is very costly. José and his grandmother move to Fort-de-France to make José's studies easier... Written by
Haiku: Thank you Grandmother / For not sugar-coating our / Trip out of shanty FOUR PLUSES & A NEGATIVE: 1) French language film with Black Afro-Centric Themes. 2) Strong performances by actors and non-actors, both young and old . 3) Film is directed by a Black woman, Euzhan Palcy, who would go on to direct "A Dry White Season"... becoming the first Black woman to direct a Hollywood movie (according to IMDb trivia). 4) Uplifting themes about the importance of education, self respect, etc. for the betterment of Blacks in Martinique in the 1930s (that still ring true for Blacks everywhere today!) 5) Runtime of 103 minutes needed more consistent pacing as there were moments that felt a bit slow.
Random Thoughts: I had just dropped out of college (SUNY Buffalo) for the umpteenth time. It was difficult for me being young, Black and gay in Buffalo circa 1985. My biggest struggle was succumbing to my parents desire to see me pursue a major (Accounting) that would lead to employment versus one that I was interested in and passionate about (French and languages). After dropping out, returning home, working a series of meaningless jobs and wondering aimlessly through some local community colleges, I decided to take French lessons at the Alliance Francaise in NYC. Like in France, they "released " movies on Wednesdays and that was the highlight of my French school week.
It was at the Alliance Francaise that I first saw "Rue Cases Nègres" and it was after viewing that film I dedicated myself to becoming fluent in French, living in France, finishing school, living my life, etc. My rating of seven (7) reflects more the impact and importance of this movie for me.
If you'd like to read more of my haikus, please visit my blog at richardwallenhaiku.blogspot.com
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