UC Berkeley Library

Haiti

A Work-in-progress: Human Rights in Haiti

In a masterful blend of historical footage, interviews and artwork, this film presents the history of the Haitian people's struggle for their rights. After suffering under tyrants for decades, the Haitians finally elected Jean Bertrand Aristide who was overthrown by the military, but later returned. This film focuses on some of the victims of human rights violations and on the work of United Nations human rights observers who have been dispatched to Haiti to help establish a working democracy.

Aristide and the Endless Revolution

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the former president of Haiti, was twice removed from office with the complicity of the international community. An investigation into the events that led to his most recent ouster, 'Aristide and the endless revolution' exposes the geopolitical intrigue, the economic alliances between the Haitian and U.S. elite, the armed criminals posing as freedom fighters and other factors that have consistently threatened this young democracy. A film by Nicolas Rossier. 2005. 60 min.

Art of Haiti: The Primitive Painters

Explores Haiti's modern art movement, a fusion of Haiti's African roots, French Colonial past and present day coexistence of voodoo and Catholicism. Juxtaposes scenes of contemporary Haiti with paintings of such artists as Rigaud Renoit, Andre Pierre, and Hector Hippolite. c1983. 26 min. Assistance mortelle = Fatal assistance

Assistance mortelle (Fatal assistance)

Directed by former Haitian Minister of Culture Raoul Peck. After the massive earthquake that struck in January 2010, killing an estimated 250,000 and leaving 1.2 million homeless, a flood of aid and agencies arrived at Haiti's door. Some had an agenda to help, others had an agenda to protect their own assets and interests. Three years later, what state has this aid left the Haitian people in?

Bitter Cane.

This expose takes an in-depth look at the history and modern day realities of Haiti. Shows how the traditional system of semi-feudal agriculture is being replaced by foreign-owned modern plantations and an industrial sector where hundreds of factories are mushrooming around the capital, enticed by tax incentives and cheap labor. The exploitation of labor reinforces the class system and economic underdevelopment of the country. Includes interviews with peasants, landowners, merchants, and U.S. businessmen and touches on the consequences for U.S. workers and Haitian refugees.

Black & White in Exile

An indepth documentary chronicling 30 years of Caribbean exile in the United States, focusing on Cuban and Haitian immigration and its impact on the host communities. The four main groups probed are Cuban exiles, Haitian exiles, resident whites and African Americans. Issues of equity are explored in terms of the government treatment of each group, the economic opportunities available, the political empowerment achieved and the inter-racial/cross-cultural hostilities, cooperation and ultimately, coalitions that developed.

Black Sugar.

Examines the mistreatment of Haitian laborers hired to cut sugar cane on plantations owned by the Dominican Republic State Sugar Council. Describes fraudulent recruitment promises, the practice of confiscating workers' official papers, extremely low wages, and the squalor, disease, and hunger of the work camps. 1989. 58 min.

Brotherly Love. (Africans in America; 3)

During the first 50 years of the new nation, freedmen and fugitive slaves in Philadelphia push the country to live up to the promises made in its Constitution. But with the invention of the cotton gin, slavery expands into America's western frontier, and a revolution in Haiti inspires slave rebellions throughout the southern United States. 1998. 90 min.

Buying the Spirits

This powerful documentary presents a sympathetic view of voodooism in Haiti delving into the hidden world of voodoo practitioners and offering unique insight into a frequently misunderstood religion. Haitians turn to secret voodoo societies for support and protection some to gain wealth and power. The stories offered here present an objective view of a religion that is important to so many and often maligned. A film by Saskia Reitmeijer and Bart Drolenga. 2003. 52 min.

Desounen: Dialogue with Death.

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. 1994. 50 min.
web web sites:Description from Bullfrog Films catalog

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