Toppa Top 10: Ten Essential Caribbean Films

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September 22, 2016


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sugar-cane-alley

As with every list, there are choices you are dying to include, but for one reason or another, do not make it. ย For us, these three films are also worth a mention:

Sugar Cane Alley (1983)
Euzhan Palcy, Martinique

Weโ€™ve interviewed a lot of filmmakers, when asked about their favorite film, the most common answer is always Sugar Cane Alley by Euzhan Palcy, who later became the first Black woman to direct a major Hollywood studio film. It tells the story of Jose, who grew up in the 1930s in Maritnique, working the cane fields. He got a shot at an education in France, then life gets in the way.

Another is Hand Full of Dirt (2010) by Russell Watson of Barbados. This is a well-told story of three generations of men in the Redman family โ€“ father, grandfather and son โ€“ each with an axe to grind with each other, and all trying to break from their past and fulfill their dreams.

And then there is Le Bonheur dโ€™Elza (2011) by Mariette Monpierre of Martinique โ€” a beautifully told story of a young Parisian woman of Guadeloupean descent, who returns to Guadeloupe upon graduation to find her father. When she does, she holds on to her secret and her father does not immediately discover her true identity. The film showcases the physical beauty of the island, its people and life there.

Romola Lucas is the founder and director of the Caribbean Film Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Caribbean filmmaking and filmmakers, and a co-founder of the Third Horizon Film Festival.