In Marie Galante, an island off Guadeloupe, the past speaks. The island is covered with sugar cane fields which still shape the destiny of men; sugar is made from their sweat in the groaning and roaring machines. The workers and planters devote their strength to the survival of their old sugar factory: Grand Anse. It’s a cathedral of rusty iron where the past resurfaces, in the timeless landscapes, the anachronistic shape of the factory, the unchanged gestures of labour and the endurance it requires. In Paroles de Nègres, director Sylvaine DampierreI shares – with today’s sugar workers – transcripts from the 1842 trial of the Grand Anse plantation master, bringing back a part of their heritage. They seize and embody these words of Negroes, thus enlivening a memory that still forges their present. The cane has been the instrument of their fathers’ damnation, and remains, against all odds, the instrument of their dignity.