Sugar Cane Alley, as her movie adaptation of the Joseph Zobel novel is known in English, became the film that jump-started Euzhan Palcy’s filmmaking career and caused veteran actor, producer, director and Sundance Film Festival founder, Robert Redford, to mentor this young, wide-eyed and talented black girl to make history in Hollywood. The movie has since been screened and used in many film schools and lauded as among the gold standard of filmmaking by enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
All the talent, education and curiosity in the world are not enough to garner success. There must be some element of good old-fashioned GUTS. Where did Euzhan Palcy gain the intrepidity to challenge the Hollywood status quo? Her paternal grandmother, Camille Palcy (née Caruge Tismon,) often admonished her, “Si tu sais ce que tu veux faire et où tu veux aller et qu'on dresse une barrière devant toi, saute par dessus et trace.” Translated: “If there is a fence in front of you and your goal, simply jump over it and fly.”
It is in the spirit of Bonne Maman Camille that Jump and Fly was born and to whom it is dedicated.