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Eve's Bayou (1997)

R | | Drama | 7 November 1997 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer
After a daughter witnesses her father having an affair, she begins a chain reaction that could tear her family apart.

Director:

Kasi Lemmons

Writer:

Kasi Lemmons
12 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jurnee Smollett-Bell ... Eve Batiste (as Jurnee Smollett)
Meagan Good ... Cisely Batiste
Lynn Whitfield ... Roz Batiste
Samuel L. Jackson ... Louis Batiste
Debbi Morgan ... Mozelle Batiste Delacroix
Jake Smollett Jake Smollett ... Poe Batiste
Ethel Ayler ... Gran Mere
Diahann Carroll ... Elzora
Vondie Curtis-Hall ... Julian Grayraven
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Lenny Mereaux
Lisa Nicole Carson ... Matty Mereaux
Branford Marsalis ... Harry
Afonda Colbert Afonda Colbert ... Henrietta
Lola Dalferes Lola Dalferes ... Lynette
Marcus Lyle Brown ... Hosea
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Storyline

The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive female patients. One night Louis trysts with married and sexy Metty Mereaux, not knowing that he is observed by his youngest daughter Eve, who is there by accident. Eve can not forget the traumatic incident and shares a secret with older sister Cisely. Lies start to roll... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The secrets that hold us together can also tear us apart.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eve's Bayou See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,287,846, 9 November 1997

Gross USA:

$14,842,388

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,842,388
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was selected by the Library of Congress in 2018, for preservation in the National Film registry for being, "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." See more »

Goofs

Eve puts 20 bucks she takes from her dad's wallet in her right pocket. In the marketplace where she pays Elzora, she takes the money out of her left pocket. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Memory is a selection of images, some elusive, others imprinted indelibly on the brain. The summer I killed my father I was 10 years old. My brother Poe was 9, and my sister Cisely has just turned 14.
Narrator: The town we lived in was named after a slave. It was said that when General John Paul Batiste was stricken with cholera, his life was saved by the powerful medicine of an African slave woman called Eve. In return for his life, he freed her, and gave her this piece of land by the Bayou...
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Dr. Hugo (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

A Child With The Blues
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Erykah Badu
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A slow and perhaps stretched drama but well crafted and rewarding nonetheless
29 May 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In 1962 Eve was only about 10 and lived with her family in Louisiana. Her father, Louis, is the popular town doctor who has a beautiful wife and three children (including Eve). However he is too knowing about his popularity with the women in the town and is quite the flirt. When Eve sees him kissing and touching another woman behind their house it distresses her but she is convinced by elder sister Cisely that it was all her misunderstanding of the situation. This is the first of a series of events in her memory that she recalls ended with her killing her father. However, the memory of a child can be such a subjective thing.

Starting with the statement from Eve about her hand in her father's dead, I was ready for a mystery that would be dark and tense but the film left that mystery in the air while going on to be a slower, but just as interesting, story. This is despite the fact that it seems to rely quite heavily on voodoo and similar Southern clichés to move the story forward. Although this gradually becomes less important it is quite obtrusive early on and I found it a little bit off-putting but gradually got over it thanks to the story overcoming it with a real emotional involvement from the characters. The writing of people is strong and the direction is quite assured, even if some of the sets and shot-framing were reminiscent of daytime TVMs (an affect the music doesn't help).

With the characters and their stories well written, it required good performances all round and it is to Lemmons' credit that he draws strong performances from all ages of his cast. Although Jackson is the big name involved, it is really Smollett who won me over. Avoiding the "cute kid" cliché she delivers a really convincing performance that is the heart of the film – it is a real weight to carry it, but she does it well. Jackson himself is good, not overplaying his character to the point where we hate him, but just as far as us disliking him for the weakness that he knows he has. Good and Whitfield are both good and they are where the main battle for feminine attention from Louis – it is touching to see Good grow and fascinating to see Whitfield respond to it – good writing and good acting. Support is roundly good but they have less to do – Smith in a minor role, Carson using her ample body, Ayler playing a cliché and Curtis-Hall sporting a haircut that looks like it fell onto him from a tree. However the main performances are so good it doesn't really matter – they produce a film that is both emotionally engaging and just about avoids melodrama.

Overall this is a film worth seeing. The story relies a bit too much on voodoo and such, and is rather forced to the extremes of events but it is covered by never losing focus on the characters; characters that are well written and very well performed on the whole. A touch too soapy for some tastes I'm sure but for me it was quite engaging and a very enjoyable little drama.


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