Have you ever watched a film that was so good you had to see it twice? Well I did. I see this movie every time it shows on cable. Kasi Lemmons, the first time director, blew me away with her Louisiana-Creole Gothic film about a well-to-do black family with deep secrets.
Eve, named after the slave that won her freedom, was the young protagonist that captured our hearts. Played by the wonderful Jurnee Smollett, she is born with a “gift” that she shares with her favourite and mentally unstable aunt, Mozelle. Debbie Morgan was born for this role as the stunning and psychic black widow that cannot find happiness.
Aside from Smollett, the person that held my attention was Cisely, her on-screen sister. With puberty approaching and certain “feelings” developing, we are transcended into her world, her feelings, her needs as a young woman…all involving her father. We also see a rivalry between her and the gorgeous Lynn Whitfield, played by her mother. This epic reminded me of my own culture, which I lapped up greedily. The richness, the people, the way they dressed and spoke, and with most Creoles, the underlying sense of the supernatural.
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of this masterpiece was how Lemmons cleverly left us, the audience, to figure out what really happened that night.
When this film came out in 1997, I felt with its rich cinematography, great screenplay, Mr. Jackson as the lead role and producer, this film would at least get a few nominations.
It got not one.
Perhaps the Academy is saving their accolades for:
1. Monster’s Ball
3. Training Day
And all other films that show blacks as lazy, drug ridden, animalistic, corrupt prostitutes.
Tell me, did you see Eve’s Bayou and how did you interpret it?