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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Eve's Bayou
Directed by Kasi Lemmons
Trimark 10/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R -- sexuality, language

This is a mesmerizing Southern Gothic tale set in Louisiana in 1962. The narrator is ten-year-old Eve (Jurnee Smollett) whose initiation into the adult world of sexuality, fear, love, and hate is both startling and mysterious. At a party she goes off into the barn to sleep and witnesses her physician father Louis (Samuel L. Jackson) making love with another man's wife (Lisa Nicole Carson). Seeing her proud and beautiful mother's (Lynn Whitfield) pain over Louis's adultery, Eve is comforted by her 14-year-old sister Cisely (Meagan Good). They are so close that when Cisely is hurt, her younger sister feels the heartbreak. Eve looks up to her Aunt Mozelle (Debbi Morgan), a fortune teller whose three husbands have all met untimely deaths. But when she wants to punish her father for all the trouble he's caused, the protagonist goes to a voodoo priestess (Diahann Carroll) for help.

Writer and director Kasi Lemmons has fashioned a spooky drama about the bonds between women and the explosive emotions which can be set off by family problems. The acting is top-notch as the story explores the interpenetration of the material and spiritual worlds. Like an intricate puzzle, Eve's Bayou reveals all the pieces that go together to make up the hazy and ever shifting worlds of truth and fiction, right and wrong.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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