One of the rare male Black actors (along with Habib Benglia) performing in French films during the colonial period, Martinican Joe Alex (sometimes credited as José Alex) was first a singer and dancer. Alex notably appeared in various revues, the most famous being "La Revue nègre" in late 1925, in which he performed the very erotic "Danse sauvage" (Wild Dance) with Josephine Baker as his partner. With her, he also recorded the song "Voulez-vous de la cane à sucre ?" (Do You Want Sugarcane ?). Read more... to cease its operations at the onset of World War II. On the big screen, he can be seen in over thirty films, in which he most often played the colored man of the piece, being more than once credited as "the Negro" or "a Native". His skin color often confined him to roles reflecting the place French society reserved for Black people, such as domestic or shoe-shiner. Surprisingly the character he played which best corresponds with the modern vision of what it is like to be Black in France, nearly devoid of paternalism and racism, is a Dranem comedy entitled Le nègre du rapide numéro 13 (1923), directed by the obscure J. Mandemant. Zambah, the Black man he embodies in this film is suspected of a crime he has not committed. But when Dranem joins him in his cell, he becomes his friend regardless of his race. It is fine to see a white and a Black man put on an equal footing in a movie dating back to 1923.