Siméon (1992)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - Chile, France, Martinique  |  
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Euzhan Palcy (best known for Sugar Cane Alley and A Dry White Season) directed and co-wrote this fable about music, myth and the power of dreams. Jean-Claude Duverger plays Siméon, a music teacher who guides students in a small village in the West Indies. His star pupil is Isidore (Jacob Desavarieux), a gifted guitarist who works by day as a mechanic. Siméon and Isidore share the same ambition: they want to form a band to play their own brand of West Indian Créole music, bringing their native island's sound to the outside world just as Bob Marley brought the muscular but sensuous rhythms of reggae to music fans beyond Jamaica. Siméon's dreams are cut short when he's killed in an accident, but Isidore's daughter Orélie (Lucinda Messager), who always liked Siméon, snips off a lock of his long hair to keep as a memento. According to Créole legend, as long as someone in this world has any part of a person, that person cannot be truly dead, and this turns out to be true -- while Siméon's body is gone, his soul lives on and speaks through Orélie. Siméon (in Orélie's guise) inspires Isidore to not let his dreams of music die. The guitarist assembles a handful of gifted musicians to form a group called Jacaranda, who achieve the success Siméon and Isidore always wanted.