Sugar Cane Alley is a movie about a young boy named Jose growing up in Martinique with his grandmother, Ma Tine. To me, this movie was very interesting, but also very informative in nature. As I watched the movie, I noticed many scenes that were symbolic and important, but not explained. Some issues in Sugar Cane Alley that I thought were important were the issues of: skin color, family values, respect, and community. .
As I watched the film, I noticed that the color of one's skin played an important role in Martinique. To be a black person in Martinique was hard and frustrating. In the movie it seemed that to be black was a sign of slave labor and a member of a low social class. Blacks in Martinique were condemned to cutting sugar cane, while Leopold's mother (who was mixed) was at home. Even though I know that black people were looked down upon, the visions that this movie portrayed made me a little upset. Skin color was also very important in the role of blacks receiving an education versus a Caucasian person receiving an education. Jose excelled at his work, but was accused of cheating because of his skin color. For a black person to come from a poor town, and succeed in school was unbelievable and impossible. With the encouragement of Ma Tine and Medouze, Jose looks beyond working in the sugar cane fields and is determined to succeed in school. Jose possesses a very positive attitude toward his goals, like me. In order to succeed, one must have determination and courage.
In this movie, the help of the community, respect and family values also played an important role. As I reflect back on the film, I would use a single quote to refer to this symbol of community-"It takes a whole village to raise a child." As the movie begins, Ma Tine reminds Jose of his table manners and etiquette. Respect, another theme, is present when Jose or the other children talk to their elders. Jose does not question his grandmother when she tells him to do something and he always answers his elders with respect (Sir, Ma"am).