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'Eve's Bayou': Sixteen Years Later

by Abdul Ali
February 25, 2013 3:32 PM
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Eve's Bayou

"Eve's Bayou" (1997) has become a contemporary classic in Black cinema. Directed by Kasi Lemmons and set in the early 1960s in Louisiana, the film is primarily a family drama. It also has the distinction of being about a specific place that wasn't absorbed into the Civil Rights and Black Power movements that were picking up steam across the country around that time.

With all of their secrets and betrayals, the affluent Batiste family is far from perfect; although in an early scene the mother of the philandering Dr. Louis Batiste (played by Samuel L. Jackson) says that all of the women in the community act like he’s the Second Coming. And it's true. This 109-minute film, which was nominated for seven Image Awards, features some of the most tastefully done risqué scenes that I’ve come across in contemporary African- American cinema.

Though the film has a marquee cast that includes Jackson, Debbi Morgan and Lynn Whitfield -- and let's not forget the very young and adorable Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Meagan Good -- no one rests on their laurels. Diahann Carroll, only appearing in a few scenes, gives a standout performance portraying a witch (a very different role from her typical ones as bejeweled and fashion-forward leading ladies).

"Eve's Bayou" airs on XFINITY on Demand™. Here’s a little tease:

What are your favorite film(s) featuring one of the cast members from "Eve’s Bayou"?

Find out how to catch additional African American family-focused films, like "Pursuit of Happyness," "Are We There Yet?" and "Johnson Family Vacation," by visiting

Editor’s Note: Throughout Black History Month and beyond, Shadow and Act will partner with XFINITY to celebrate Black entertainment. XFINITY is creating a unique digital community built around the love of Black entertainment at Shadow and Act hopes to enrich this community and provide a launching pad for insightful discussion. Look to Shadow and Act for features and content examining and exploring key themes and topics that run throughout the history of Black entertainment.

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  • Deedee | February 26, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    I don't think anyone in this movie, outside of Sam MAAAAYBE, has done anything better. YOU'RE THA BEST AROU-HOOOUND!

  • sosgemini | February 26, 2013 5:02 PMReply

    It's my all-time favorite film. (It's also streaming on Nextflix.)

  • Nadell | February 26, 2013 1:16 PMReply

    BEST movie ever! It is amazing how intriguing the storyline is - everytime it airs it is like watching it for the 1st time!
    Jurnee's performance was veteran-like! Beyond outstanding - because of this movie she's my fave actress!
    The cast was just phenomenal! Kasi Lemmons did not receive the accolades she deserved for this film.
    Just the way Louisiana was captured was beautiful!
    Everything about this film was extraordinary!!!

  • Monique a Williams | February 25, 2013 8:09 PMReply

    Truly Meagan Good's finest performance.
    And Jurnee Smollett was amazing.

  • Mekisha Hale | February 25, 2013 5:55 PMReply

    A all time favorite movie the mysterious and beautifully movie "Eve Bayou" which was deep and it's story was interesting enough that you wish more movies could be like this one was. Even today this movie still brings joyful and saddness at the same time. And the strong performances of actress Debbi Morgan and Lynn Whitfield actor Samuel L. Jackson just the entire cast were wonderful.

  • Sweeta | February 25, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    Love Eve's Bayou. Def watched it about a million times. "Ain't that much dirt in ALL Lousiana. Get outta the damn tub!"

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