The Devil’s Daughter (1939)

(a.k.a. POCOMANIA)
Article #263 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 12-4-2001
Posting date: 4-19-2002

When a woman returns to Jamaica from her trip to Harlem, her jealous sister tries to scare her off the plantation with voodoo ceremonies.

You know, there’s just something a little fascinating about this all-black cast movie; with all the usual Hollywood touches (including a dice-throwing comic relief character), there are touches of what feels like authenticity scattered throughout. Not in the plot, mind you; that is strictly by the book. It’s in the music and the dancing, and the way that, for example, the voodoo ceremony doesn’t feel quite as silly or contrived as it does in so many other movies; it captures a world that we rarely see in movies. And even though they’re hardly what you could call classy affairs, these all-black films of the thirties did offer blacks a greater variety of roles than were to be found in the more conventional Hollywood product of the time.

I can’t help but notice, however, this is my second movie in a row that features a cockfight. I hope this doesn’t portend a trend…

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