Born on January 13, 1958 in Martinique, Euzhan Palcy developed a passion for cinema at an early age.
As a child, she watched many films by great directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder, and quickly became aware of the great inequalities between the roles of white and black actors.
It was at age 14 that she discovered the novel Black Shack Alley (French title: La Rue Cases-Nègres) and truly realized the power of her island's history. She promised herself that she would adapt it one day for the silver screen.
After a school education in Martinique, in 1975 she left for France and the Sorbonne, where she obtained a master's degree in theater and literature, a diploma in art and archeology and took courses on opera.
At the same time, she also studied at the Louis-Lumière school, where she specialized in photography. During this time, she met some of the greatest names in cinema, including François Truffaut, who was to become her mentor.