Azúcar! The Story of Sugar
is essentially a story about the oppression of women and the male fear of those “secret powers” that men believe certain women have. Perhaps more so than any other group
in the Caribbean, women have added an entirely new dimension to the regional dynamic. Women in the Caribbean, all of them “daughters” in every sense, are re-weaving their mother’s stories into their own as they challenge the traditional norms. Azúcar’s story touches on the notion of finding a way to escape the barbarism and exploitation of one life for another … elsewhere. Her story also offers another bold perspective on that evolving process by which the Caribbean HER
story, rather than the conventional HIS
tory, is brought to life!
A horrid event one stifling afternoon in the batey – the dilapidated quarters that house the sugarcane workers on a Caribbean island --- sends unsettling ripples through the lives of everyone connected with Esperanza Dulce plantation. The seemingly powerless batey residents accept the cruel consequences
of the violent act with the same muffled anger and traditional resignation that they do the unmasked horrors of their daily working conditions in the cane fields. But doña Fela, the batey’s venerated matriarch, fiercely determined to liberate her innocent granddaughter Azúcar from the nightmarish terrors and harshness of the plantation, sees to it -- at whatever costs— that the bright and beautiful little girl emigrates to Canada with a most unlikely couple, where she has the chance for an education and a better life. But even so far away, the transformed young woman is not free from the hypnotic pull of the island. She falls in love with the talented and handsome Lucien, a young man whose own mysterious history will bring them both back to Esperanza Dulce to confront the ghosts of their unknowingly shared past.