4 user 6 critic

Black Shack Alley (1983)

Rue cases nègres (original title)
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 »



, (novel)
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Lumumba (2000)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Using newly discovered historical ... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Peck
Stars: Eriq Ebouaney, Alex Descas, Théophile Sowié
Gigi (1958)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Weary of the conventions of Parisian society, a rich playboy and a youthful courtesan-in-training enjoy a platonic friendship, but it may not stay platonic for long.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan
Amateur (1994)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Isabelle is an ex-nun waiting for her special mission from God. In the meantime, she is making a living writing pornography. She meets Thomas, a sweet, confused amnesiac who cannot remember... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Löwensohn
Fort Apache (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
Siméon (1992)
Fantasy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The ghost of a music teacher pushes a young mechanic to start a career in music.

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Jean-Claude Duverger, Jacob Desvarieux, Jocelyne Beroard
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Chantel Mitchell (Ariyan Johnson), a hip, articulate, black high-school girl in Brooklyn, is determined not to become "just another girl on the IRT" (the IRT is one of NYC's subway lines). ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Harris
Stars: Ariyan A. Johnson, Kevin Thigpen, Ebony Jerido
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Marlon Riggs, with assistance from other gay Black men, especially poet Essex Hemphill, celebrates Black men loving Black men as a revolutionary act. The film intercuts footage of Hemphill ... See full summary »

Director: Marlon Riggs
Stars: Marlon Riggs, Michael Bell, Kerrigan Black
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In 1950s Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions in the outside world.

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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 »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae
Water I (2005)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The film examines the plight of a group of widows forced into poverty at a temple in the holy city of Varanasi. It focuses on a relationship between one of the widows, who wants to escape the social restrictions imposed on widows, and a man who is from the highest caste and a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

Director: Deepa Mehta
Stars: Lisa Ray, John Abraham, Seema Biswas
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Maribel Verdú, Gael García Bernal, Daniel Giménez Cacho
Losing Ground (1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A comedy-drama about a Black American female philosophy professor and her insensitive, philandering, and flamboyant artist husband who are having a marital crisis. When the wife goes off on... See full summary »

Director: Kathleen Collins
Stars: Billie Allen, Gary Bolling, Clarence Branch Jr.


Complete credited cast:
Garry Cadenat ...
Darling Légitimus ...
M'Man Tine
Douta Seck ...
Joby Bernabé ...
Monsieur Saint-Louis
Francisco Charles ...
Le Gereur
Marie-Jo Descas ...
La Mere de Leopold
Marie-Ange Farot ...
Madame Saint Louis
Henri Melon ...
L'instituteur - M. Roc
Eugène Mona ...
Douze Orteils
Joël Palcy ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Serge Abattucci
Samuel Abraham ...
Un enfant
Albert Adea
Jose Aloha
Dominique Arfi


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 David Carless

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History


PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 September 1983 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Street of the Black Shacks  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


References Coeur de Paris (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

7 December 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Few films capture the hope and desperation of a people. Even fewer can venture into the hearts and souls of their characters to reveal humanity. I have heard many stories, and seen many movies, but Sugar Cane Alley stands above many others, for it uses film as a canvas for emotions, realities, and dreams.

The actors in this movie glow. All of them from Jose to his grandmother to Medouze to the children of the plantation system. It is hard to picture these people in any other place: their voices, their actions, their feelings, the way they run, laugh, swim-it all seems to come naturally. It feels real and true.

The camera work furthers our understanding of the characters by juxtaposing the lush landscape of Martinque with the routine of plantation work. There will be times when the viewer will want to pause the film to look at a scene as one might view a painting, Sugar Cane Alley is a true motion picture. Every shot showcases perfectly balanced lighting and color.

Then there are social messages, messages that cannot be as well described as viewed, about justice, hope, opportunity, and determination.

I cannot rank a film I have seen higher than this one. It is simply a must-see.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
la rue cases-negres. easyhallelujah
Discuss Black Shack Alley (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: