A fantastic movie directed by one of the most outstanding moviemaker Euzhan Palcy revealed the complex interrelationships between the black slaves, white masters and mulattos in the early 1930th on the French Colony Martinique. Having seen the movie, it becomes evident that the author intended to deliver a very important message to the community: although the impediments of various natures may be created by the governing class, those who aspire to achieve success, can always do this through education and dedication. This essay is to outline the racial relations between the Whites, the Blacks and the mulattos, and to highlight the negative impact that was exercised by the extensively promoted policies of colonialism and slavery of the French government.
The races treated each other differently. The dominating class was the white slave owners and the rest of the white population. These people considered that other races, in particular Africans and Mongoloids are inferior in terms of mental capabilities than their white peers. The most illustrative example of the story is when the master does not trust that the marvelous essay was written by Jose, the main character himself. Although the master subsequently apologized and said that ‘someday Jose will be a great man’, the initial perception of the situation clearly specifies the attitude towards the black skinned students in particular and black skinned people in general. Their mental and physical capabilities were purposefully diminished and underestimated. Black skinned inhabitants of Martinique were extensively regarded as mere working tools, whose only function were manual labor and army service. To exemplify, it is relevant to point out to the episode that shows when the white supervisor castigates the black skinned slave, who perpetuated minor transgressions. The inhabitants of the Martinique of African origin were extensively mistreated by the masters and the mulattos, who were the ‘bottle-washers’ for the white masters of the island. The results of such policy backfire to the French Republic. France lost thousands of the promising engineers, artists, lawyers, pedagogues, social workers and army officers were lost on the plantations. Besides, numerous violations of the most fundamental human rights took place there.
It is necessary to highlight that Jose, the main character of the movie is an orphan who has been brought up by his grandmother and whose dedication and aspirations to study helped him to obtain a scholarship to study in a high school in Port au Prance, the capital of Martinique. His granny made a significant sacrifice resolving to relocate to the capital to help his grandchild. On the plantation Jose gets acquainted with the old worker Medousze, who has made a great influence on the mental development of the young boy. He told the boy that the plantation is not the limits of the civilization and the boy should dedicate all his stamina and energy to succeed in his endeavors. The French government permanently imposed the idea that the ultimate dreams of the slaves were the repose after the hard work on the plantations. Old and wise Medouzca, presumably took young Jose for his grandkids who he dreamed to have, but the position of the slave did not allow him to have the ones. He narrated the boy about the bright prospects that were waiting for him. He told him about the shores of Africa, about Europe and about the exotic animals. And he inspired the thought him that the most valuable issue is freedom. It must be valued and cherished. And the boy decides to contribute all his skills, energy, dedication and stamina to get liberty by means of education. He craves for education and he managed to obtain it. The culmination of the movie is the acknowledgement by his teacher, who finally admits that great future was waiting for him. Therefore, the mental barrier has eventually been transcended. The white man has realized that the black skinned inhabitant of the island is capable of achieving something significant in this life.
Mulattos were also discriminated by the ruling classes. Jose’s friends Leopold, was the son of the affluent plantations and slave owner, who cohabited with the black skinned lady. The boy visited the same school as Jose did, and outwardly he enjoyed everything of the affluent and rich life. However when his father was dying, he still refused to accept his son. He said that Leopold was a name of a white man, but not of a mulatto. This deed clearly indicates that the color of the skin was a crucial factor even in the father-son relationships.
Slavery and Colonial Expansion of the French Republic and the Impact
The impact of those policies of the French government was heinous. First and foremost, many people suffered from the atrocities perpetuated by the French officials and slave owners. Slavery and serfdom is a genuine humanitarian catastrophe. This movie helped to demonstrate that all possible measures must be done to avert slavery in future. The results of slavery are heinous: the culture is devastated; the future of the promising professional and the dreams of the young people are ruined. But, the movie also bears the message that the several individuals of the governing classes comprehend that everyone under the blue sky must be equal. Everyone must have equal rights, duties and opportunities.
Overall, the policies of slavery and colonialism always have a negative impact over the society. If the educational limitations and biased attitude are posed over the students, neither the development of the community, nor the prosperity is likely to happen.