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Haiti in Film & Music: A Guide
A guide to a representative sampling of documentaries and feature films available from the Music & Media Center as well as CDs featuring music from Haiti.
Interviews with Haitians concerning the years of economic and political chaos in Haiti which have led to a mass exodus of Haitians trying to reach the mecca of the United States. Includes interviews with those who remained in Haiti and those who successfully immigrated who are now reluctant to return although they are the ones who have the necessary skills to rebuild their homeland's shattered economy.
Feature Film. This exploration of Haitian society of late 19th and early 20th centuries focuses on the tormented life of one of Haiti's most important authors and prominent political figues, Jacques Roumain. In his perceptive writings, Roumain raised questions about the issues facing Haiti that remain relevant today. Some of Jacques Roumain's best writings were translated by the legendary African-American poet Langston Hughes. The question is raised: what legacy has Jacques Roumain left for the future of Haitian youth.
Told through the compelling lives of five courageous Haitian women workers, POTO MITAN gives the global economy a human face. Each woman's personal story explains neoliberal globalization, how it is gendered, and how it impacts Haiti. And while POTO MITAN offers an in-depth understanding of Haiti, its focus on women's subjugation, worker exploitation, poverty, and resistance demonstrates that these are global struggles.
On January 12, 2010 an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 strikes the western department of the Republic of Haiti. The film documents the drama, the courage and the beauty of the Haitian people and the international solidarity. He also questions the responsibilities and the failures that led to this apocalypse whose occurrence was anticipate throughout the world for at least two years.
Introduces the viewer to two women, Anne-Rose and Rosemene, who each one has their own particular way of battling through life. The former makes lunches in a factory yard in Port-au-Prince and sells her meals to the factory workers; the latter is employed in the same factory as a production worker making pullovers and T-shirts. Every day she buys her midday meal on credit from Anne-Rose. Through the connection between these two women the film reveals part of their daily work and the constant battle for survival that they lead together with other women in Haiti. Going beyond this, however, the film demonstrates the extent to which the importation of North American goods has brought about the collapse of Haitian regional production and ruined Haiti's economy. The connection between the two topics of the film reveals the significant role that Haitian women of today play in an economy that has been bled dry.
The Haitian Revolution represents the only successful slave revolution in history; it created the world's first Black republic. At the forefront of the rebellion was General Toussaint Louverture, an ex-slave whose genius was admired by allies and enemies alike.
Born in Kirchberg in the canton of Bern in 1936, Switzerland, Marianne Lehmann settled in Port-au-Prince in 1957 after marrying a Haitian lawyer. She started collecting voodoo objects in 1970, out of an early fascination for this culture and in an attempt to prevent them from being sold abroad. Over the years, she has built the most important collection in the world. "A voodoo heritage" reveals the beauty and signification of these pieces, highlights the links between voodoo and the emancipation of the Haitian people, and draws a unique portrait of this 70-year old woman with a youthful spirit.
Documentary of the Voudoun religions of Haiti. Presents rituals performed by the Rada, Petro, and Congo cults, whose devotees commune with cosmic powers through invocations, sacrifices, and possession.
Haitian Song is a lyrical portrait of life in a small village in rural Haiti. The film focuses on the "rituals" which compose the texture of everyday life: getting water from the river; making rope by hand from sisal; cooking rice and beans in an outdoor kitchen; planting and harvesting. Through intimate and detailed scenes, the film follows Gustav and Zilmen, a man and a woman, through the cycle of their day and follows the larger community through the cycles of the week: the market on Tuesday; the cockfight on Saturday; the dance on Sunday.
In the Haitian countryside, where people have little access to doctors, hospitals, or conventional medicine, peasants have learned to use local leaves, herbs, and therapeutic massage as a way of curing simple ailments. This video follows several men and women as they take us into the bush to look for leaves that they need for healing. We then follow them home where they explain and demonstrate their way of preparing the poultice or infusion.
A frank look at a largely unexplored area, Of Men And Gods examines the daily existence of several Haitian men who are openly gay. Prevalent, yet still taboo, homosexuality and gay culture are allowed to flourish within the context of Haiti's Vodou religion.
For centuries, the religion of Vodou (commonly called "voodoo" by outsiders) has been thought of as sticking pins in dolls or witchcraft. It has been kept underground and practiced in secret, giving way to much misunderstanding and sensationalism. This documentary - the first of its kind - shows how Vodou is a valid and serious belief system.