Written and directed by Maharaki
Produced by Riddim Production
Coproduced by Canal+ Antilles and Canal+ Guyane
Sole female member of the legendary French Caribbean band KASSAV, Jocelyne Beroard is one of the greatest icons of the West Indian and African community.
Beyond having initiated a new musical movement called Zouk, she largely contributed to spreading its influence in the West Indies to a global scale.
First French Caribbean female artist to be awarded a Gold record, rewarded world citizen, committed artist especially for defending the rights of the black population and equally an activist against child abuse, if one knows her career well, little is known of her private life.
Yet all her songs seem to be an autobiography. Expressing as much explosive joy as abyssal pains, her texts reveal her sensitivity, as well as her great inner strength, but also the difficult periods of her sentimental past.
By revealing the great events of her journey, the film shows how this outstanding Caribbean artist used her gifts of writing and interpretation to magnify her emotions and to give them a universal resonance.
My film “Jocelyne Beroard, at heart” is an intimate documentary featuring a succession of touching personal events.
It begins with the love of her family. The love that built her, formed her, and armed her for life.
It then revolves around her love for our Creole culture and especially for Creole, our language, that she has always defended, developed and traveled around the world with. Her love for the Creole language shone through her lyrics, which in return, made her shine as a Creole artiste.
Through her music, Jocelyne shines her light to us, especially through her song “An limiè” (A light), everlasting joy with her timeless hit “Kay manman”, hope with “Ké sa léve” and unconditional love with “Vini Séré”. Therefore, my film is also love story with a capital L (as we say in French: “une histoire d’amour avec un grand A”), a story in which Jocelyne opens her heart to us, a story entitled “Jocelyne Beroard, at heart”.
As a Caribbean woman and as an artist, Jocelyne Beroard is for me a model and a source of inspiration. I admire her talent as author and performer, and I have an immense respect for the career of this Martinican woman who, along with KASSAV’, brought recognition to Caribbean music far beyond our coastlines.
I feel privileged to know Jocelyne Beroard on a personal level from since childhood. Over the past few years, our discussions have become more personal and during this time, with Jocelyn’s permission, I collected stories of her adventures with KASSAV’, as well as the stories of her struggles, joys and sorrows that have marked both her artistic and personal life.
I realized how much she has tapped into her sometimes-painful experiences to feed and give depth to her text and her interpretation.
To me, she is the blatant example of a resilience she has put to the service of her art.
It is from Jocelyn’s artistic and intimate journey that I have been able to produce this documentary, without neglecting highlighting the many successes of KASSAV’.
Through the story of the life of Jocelyne Beroard, I also wanted to highlight the notions of courage, perseverance, hard work, determination, will power, transcendence, tolerance, of obstinacy and persistence in the realization of one’s dreams and use them as values and examples. So many universal themes anchored in the story of a West Indian figure.
In a less exacerbated manner, I tried to touch the impalpable through implicit themes such as fate, divine intervention, superstition, prophetic dreams, symbols and signs. My goal was to touch the imperceptible and the immaterial of the daily life of the celebrities whose stories are also written somewhere in the stars. Her song “An limiè” (A light) is indeed imbued with this mystical energy.
With a polished aesthetic, a precise narrative structure and a ball drama, I committed myself to make this film a true cinematographic work both moving and ambitious.
Those who already know Jocelyne Beroard, in her artistic dimension, will finally discover parts of her personal history.
Those who do not know her yet, will discover an essential figure of music, an Ambassador of the Caribbean, a committed artist, an exceptional woman so many times rewarded for her input, a citizen of the world, a true example for generations to come.