Belizaire the Cajun (1986)

Genres - Drama, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Social Problem Film  |   Release Date - Jun 13, 1986 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

This inexpensive but effusively energetic film is set in Louisiana's Cajun country of the 19th century. Belizaire (Armand Assante), unofficial spokesman for his people, butts heads with local bigots who want to rid the area of Cajuns. Belizaire's former girlfriend (Gail Youngs) is now the common-law wife of the film's main antagonist (Will Patton), the son of a wealthy landowner. When Patton is murdered, the locals try to pin the blame on the rabble-rousing Belizaire. He confesses, but only to save his cousin, who'd previously been targeted for lynching. All plot pieces fall into place on the day of Belizaire's scheduled execution. Although an American film, Belizaire the Cajun was unable to get US distribution until it was showered with praise at the Cannes Film Festival. Visually, the film is a banquet, but the multi-dialect soundtrack can be very difficult to follow at times.



Cajun, murder, confession-false, false-accusation, execution, racism, lynching