In Haitian culture, "Fête des Morts" is a time of honoring the ancestors with offerings of food and music. Not unlike Halloween, this holiday originates in the indigenous religion of "Voudou". In most Western societies, "Vodou" is not understood and typically seen in a negative light, however, it is actually a celebration of the history, religion and people of Haiti. The films highlighted in this program offer a different perspective in an attempt to transform the imagination of out audience.
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Check out our programming schedule:
Friday, October 28
Liberty in a Soup
Dudley Alexis / 2016 / 68min
Every New Year, and in celebration of their Independence, Haitian families gather together to feast in honor of a line of ancestors that fought for their freedom. The centerpiece of the festivity is the joumou soup—a traditional soup dating back centuries ago. The joumou soup is a concretization of war and victory, oppression and emancipation, and the deeply rooted celebratory traditions of the Haitian culture. In “Liberty in a Soup” we follow two Haitian families and a chef living in Gonaïves, Haiti and Miami, FL, to see how they celebrate and prepare the joumou soup for their Independence Day celebration. We embark on a three-day journey with each family as they showcase the ritual of their feast from the market to the kitchen and reveal the importance of keeping the joumou soup tradition alive. Follow us as we explore the historical events of what we’ve come to know as the Haitian Revolution and its worldwide impact.
Miriam Neptune / 2013 / 15min
Saturday, October 29
1:00pm & 5:45pm
La Belle Vie: The Good Life
Rachelle Salnave / 2014 / 62min
In this story of self-discovery, Haitian-American filmmaker Rachelle Salnave, documents her desire to find people who manage to share similar identity issues and turn love for their country into positive change.
Jonathan David Kane / 2014 / 10min
3:15pm & 8:00pm
The Other Side of the Water
Magali Damas & Jeremy Robin / 2010 / 77mins
The Other Side of the Water follows a 20-year journey of the Haitian-American community, told through the lens of a vodou-based walking band in Brooklyn. The music is called “Rara”: part-vodou ceremony, and part grassroots protest. Rara originally served as a voice of the slaves in their revolt against the French and continued on as the voice of those struggling against ongoing dictatorship in Haiti.
Haiti: One Day One Destiny
Michele Stephenson / 2011 / 21min
Sunday, October 30
1:00pm & 5:30pm
Too Black to be French
Isabelle Boni-Claverie / 2015 / 52min
In this documentary film, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and the persistence of racism in France, as well as the impact of the French colonial past. Through an exploration of her personal family history, and interviews with historians and academics, TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH peels back the layers of race relations in a supposedly institutionally colorblind France.
Needed But Unwanted
Susan Farkas / 2015 / 12min
3:00pm & 7:00pm
Storming of Papa Doc
Mario Delatour / 2014 / 90min
Storming Papa Doc captures one of the most haunting blockades in Haitian history. This documentary tells the story of events that occurred on July 28, 1958, when three ex-army officers from Florida went to Haiti, landed in Delugé, north of Port-au-Prince. They take possession of Dessalines’ Barracks located behind the National Palace. Their goal: the removal of Haitian President, Dr. François Duvalier. The three Haitian officers are accompanied by five American mercenaries. Director Mario Delatour captures this memorable siege through the use of animation and intercuts the story by documenting real life interviews from the people who survived the violent show down. For the generation who lived through this era, the night of July 28th, 1958 changed the course of Haitian history forever.