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“Sucre Amer” is an historical fiction about an imaginary trial that takes place in the courtroom of history.
The film has three settings: the courtroom where the trial takes place, the jury chambers where the eight jurors must reach an unanimous verdict and the chronological reconstruction of some main events from the past.
At the beginning of the film, the judge reminds the eight jurors (seven of whom are real people from Guadeloupe’s history) of their duty to reach a unanimous decision.
The man who appears before the court is called Ignace, a freed slave who has become a commander in the French army. He is accused of high treason because of his rebellion against the Republic’s army after Napoleon Bonaparte restored the Code Noir, an edict dealing with slavery issues, and slavery itself.
Did he really commit the treason of which he is accused? Or, to the contrary, is he a hero who, acting in defense of the recently established human rights laws, took up arms to safeguard his liberty and that of his fellow Guadelupians the way that defense counsel claims?
Caught between the “white/black” split, the jury has its hands full trying to reach a unanimous decision.