Euzhan Palcy’s “Sugar Cane Alley”

This movie follows the story of Jose and his grandmother, who works in the sugar cane fields. His grandmother wants him to attend school and do well so that he has a better life than she did.

An important scene that encompasses this feeling that the grandmother has is when Jose is telling his grandmother that he received a full scholarship to the school. There is a cut away to Jose’s hands and he is counting the money. Then there is a wide shot of him talking to his grandma while putting on his clothes. Then, the boy leaves and there is a medium close up of the grandma who is reflecting on the fact that she does not have to do laundry anymore. The lighting isn’t great in the scene as most of the light seems to come through the house from the outside.

I felt like this scene is significant because it shows the relief of the grandmother. The grandmother would do anything to help give Jose and education but was unsure if she, despite all her efforts, would still be able to provide her grandson with the money he needed to go to school. Her sacrifices had taken a toll on her and this relief was especially pleasureful to watch.

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