May 25, 2011  |  Film, Videos
Euzhan Palcy Has Them Dancing in the Aisles

French-Caribbean filmmaker Euzhan Palcy (b. Martinique, 1958) creates politically engaged work exploring themes of race, gender, and social justice from a decidedly feminist perspective. She has written, produced, and directed over 15 fiction features and documentaries since 1983, when her first film, Rue Cases-Nègres (Sugar Cane Alley) won a Silver Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. The director came to The Museum of Modern Art for the opening of her first U.S. career retrospective, Filmmaker in Focus: Euzhan Palcy, (in the MoMA theaters through May 30) and spoke with us about her earliest recollections of filmgoing; her experience as a black woman in the film business; her breakthrough debut; and such signature films as A Dry White Season (1989) (about South African apartheid) and the biographical documentary Aimé Césaire—A Voice for History (1994).

It is especially gratifying to report that on the occasion of our Palcy series, the Department of Film has acquired for its collection new 35mm prints of Palcy’s Rue Cases-Nègres and Siméon (1992), her Caribbean musical-comedy fairytale—which by the closing credits of its New York premiere at MoMA last Friday had literally sparked dancing in the aisles of the theater.

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