Sugar Cane Alley (12A*) + ScreenTalk with June Givanni and Priscilla Igwe

Hidden Figures: Euzhan Palcy

An image of Darling Légitimus in Sugar Cane Alley, wearing a wide-brim hat

Darling Légitimus won the Best Actress Award at the 40th Venice International Film Festival, for her portrayal of a woman determined to better the life of her grandson, in 1930s Martinique. 

Euzhan Palcy’s first feature is one of cinema’s great coming-of-age tales. It follows José, an orphan living with his indomitable grandmother, M’Man Tine (Darling Légitimus). She works in the sugar cane fields, exploited by their white boss; adamant that José will avoid the same fate, she makes sacrifices to ensure he receives an education.

Palcy subtly criticises French rule throughout, such as when José faces backlash after writing an essay on colonial oppression. Despite the critique of colonialism, Sugar Cane Alley is filled with warmth and humour, and Légitimus is simply magnificent. 

Following this screening, curator Priscilla Igwe is in conversation with curator and archivist June Givanni.

Martinque/France 1983 Dir Euzhan Palcy 103 min

 

In partnership with HOME, Manchester 

 

June Givanni is a film curator, archivist and international consultant in African and African diaspora cinema. She has had significant roles in film curating and programming working with major institutions, broadcasters and festivals in the UK, and on 5 continents.  She is currently developing the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive Archive based on collections from over 35 years of working in this field.

Priscilla Igwe is a curator, filmmaker, distributor and has spent over a decade in film exhibition within the BAME sector. She is currently the Managing Director of The New Black Film Collective (TNBFC) – a nationwide network of film exhibitors, educators and programmers of Black representation on screen.

Barbican Cinema 3