' One of the Sunniest and Most Charming Ghost Stories Ever Told '
He talked about a music which would attain this universal vibration toward which
the hummingbirds glide and the flowers are blown.
— Quote in Siméon —
In a small West Indian village, Siméon, a music teacher and Isidore, his
star disciple, a mechanic by necessity and guitarist by passion, shared the same
ambition, an impossible dream — to put their island on the world’s music map with
Zouk music. Orélie, Isidore’s ten-year-old daughter helps him in his endeavors,
by bringing Simeon back to life, after the drunken rum lover fell from his
tree house trying to get close to the full moon.
Directed by: Euzhan Palcy
Screenplay by: Euzhan Palcy & Jean-Pierre Rumeau
Dialogues by: Euzhan Palcy & Jean-Pierre Rumeau
From an original story of: Euzhan Palcy
Songs written & interpreted by: Kassav
Music composed by: Bruno Coulais
Mixed by: Didier Lozahic
Cinematographer: Philippe Welt
Sound Engineer: Bernard Bats
Sound Mixing by: William Flageollet
Edited by: Marie-Josephe Yoyotte
Art Director: Bernard Vezat
Costume Designer: Annie Quesnel
Sound Editing: Gina Pignier
Special Effects Supervisor: Christian Guillon / Ex-Machina
Executive Producer: Jean-Lou Monthieux
Production manager: Jean De Tregomain
A Co-Production: Saligna Production / France 2 Cinéma
Running time: 115 minutes
Country: France (Martinique)
Language: French with English subtitles
Format: 4K DCP
Jean-Claude Duverger — Siméon
Jacob Desvarieux (Kassav) — Isidore
Jocelyne Béroard (Kassav) — Roselyne
Little Lucinda Messager — Orélie
Albert Lirvat — Albert
Jean-Michel Martial — Max
Gerty Dambury — Lucia
Jean-Claude Naimro (Kassav) — Charlie
With Pascal Legitimus — Philomène Jr
With the voice of Lisette Malidor — The Lady of Fire
‘Euzhan Palcy’s SIMEON: Beyond Beautiful!’
@BilgeEbiri editor, critic Vulture/New York Magazine
'One of the sunniest and most charming ghost stories ever told'
‘A guide to the most scenic films shot in the Caribbean’
'Her Caribbean musical-comedy fairytale by the closing credits
literally sparked dancing in the aisles of the theater.'
'Spirited humor in a ghost story'
'One of the most vibrant and vital film you'll ever see'
Linda Lopez McAlister "The Women's Show"
WMNF - FM, 88.5 Tampa, Fl.
'Your new family film with its many musical interludes
is bubbling over with imagination and optimism'
NUEVO CINE LATINOAMERICANO
Martinica y su directora Euzhan Palcy regresaron con Simeón,
una fábula multicolor que explora algunos fantasmas
de las Antillas Francesas.
El Tiempo (Colombia)
'We loved it very much. It’s imagination, which is not altered by any
of the trifles which are attributed to childhood, the powerful joy
which springs up in the midst of the tragic, the work on sounds and colours,
the language... it is a serious and mocking enchantment at the same time
that it seems to us very important to share with the public.'
Lili Hinstin, Artistic director, Locarno Film Festival (2020)
'I would like to reiterate again how much I loved seeing Simeon.
I’d be really grateful if you could pass on to her how much we love the film,
and would be thrilled to show it.'
Alex Davidson Cinema Curator, Barbican, London.
'Euzhan, it appears that Siméon lit the fuse at the Cinematheque'
Costa Gavras / Chairman of Cinematheque Francaise
'It was the first time that I danced with my pupils'
Teacher at Jules Ferry high school in Anzin, France
AWARDS & HONORS
2019 — "Among Others: Blackness at MoMA": The Masterpieces
of New York's MoMA’s Black Art Collection of the last 90 years
Nine feature films. One musical: Simeon
2013 — Cannes Film Festival official selection - Cinema de la Plage
1993 — Fespaco Thomas Sankara Institute for Black People Award
1993 — Brussels International Fantasy Film Festival / Silver Raven Award
Competing with Sam Raimi's Army of the Darkness and Joe Dante's Matinee
1993 — Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema / Public Award
1993 — Montreal Film Festival, Vue d'Afrique / Ban Zil Kreyol Award
1993 — Milan Film Festival Youth Award
The ghost of a music teacher pushes a young mechanic to start a career in music.
Siméon is Euzhan Palcy’s third feature film. It marks her return to France after her
American experience with the film A Dry White Season. She wanted Season
to be "Cinema Verité" — that is to reflect the truth — at all costs.
And the lengths she had to go through to make that a reality took a heavy toll on her, both mentally and physically. But on the flight bringing her to visit Francis Ford Coppola on the set of The Godfather 3 by his invitation, a spark of light begins to shine.
A tune, an image, a color pop into her mind and Euzhan embarks on the writing of
Siméon as if tomorrow was her last day. She pulls on everything she’s learned,
every single thing that made her the artist she became.
Siméon becomes a lively movie, a real extravaganza of color and music, an
antidote to gloom, a tribute to all that the Caribbean can create for our delight.
Siméon, the spirit of music marks the return of Euzhan Palcy to her roots, nine years
after her seminal movie, the classic Sugar Cane Alley.