About "ARISTIDE and the Endless Revolution" by Nicolas Rossier
N.B.: I watched this "MUST SEE" film last night in Montreal and participated as one of three panelists in the debate announced in the article below. This is a groundbreaking film. Go see it for yourself ! More about the Montreal event in other posts to come...
Turmoil in Haiti, Seen Close Up
By LAURA KERN
Published: November 17, 2005
"Aristide and the Endless Revolution" is a probing look into the 2004 overthrow of the twice democratically elected Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had previously been ousted in a 1991 coup. Mr. Aristide was cherished by his country's poor (in 2001 he won with an astounding 91 percent of the vote) and deemed ineffectual by the wealthy powers of the United States, France and Canada, among others.
stide in "Aristide and the Endless Revolution."
Nicolas Rossier's cohesive documentary covers this complex incident - and Haiti's deteriorating condition since Mr. Aristide's exile - in a taut, well-balanced 82 minutes, featuring interviews with the charismatic Mr. Aristide's chief defenders (the actor Danny Glover, Representative Maxine Waters of California) and critics (Roger Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state; Timothy Carney, a former United States ambassador to Haiti). Mr. Aristide himself, who currently resides in South Africa, candidly weighs in, while the people of Haiti both voice their opinions and appear in scenes of startling violence and chaos on the streets of their destitute country.
Mr. Rossier highlights Haiti's contentious modern history, which has frequently been overshadowed by more widely publicized world events. His insightful film, which opens today at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater in the East Village, takes an evenhanded approach, a
llowing the facts to speak for themselves. For instance, we're left to decide whether or not it's coincidental that both coups against Mr. Aristide occurred while there was a president named Bush in the White House.
Aristide and the Endless Revolution Opens today in Manhattan.
Directed by Nicolas Rossier; edited by Cameron Clendaniel; produced by Mr. Rossier and Roopa Choudhury; narrated by Ross Douglas; released by Baraka Productions. At the Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155 East Third Street, at Avenue A, East Village. Running time: 82 minutes. This film is not rated.
Aristide film bound to stir local passions
Montreal Haitians keen to play up Canada's involvement in troubled land when it airs
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
A new documentary film about the 2004 ouster of Haiti's charismatic President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has become a lightning rod for Montreal's second-largest immigrant c
Supporters and opponents of Aristide are to converge on a downtown cinema tonight to see the 82-minute film Aristide and the Endless Revolution.
Its controversial thesis: that Aristide's ouster in February 2004 was the culmination of a U.S. conspiracy to destabilize Haiti, one of the world's poorest and most crime-racked countries.
And because Canada played a largely unreported role in the ouster, activists claim, Haitians living here are keen to play up its involvement when the film airs here tonight.
Part of the week-long Rencontres internationales du documentaire festival, the screening will be followed by a panel discussion that includes the film's director, New York-based Swiss expatriate Nicolas Rossier.
"Here in Montreal, the positions held by the pro- and anti-Aristide factions are very, very radical, so we expect the debate to be fierce," said Zaire-born moderator Francois Bugingo, a Tele-Quebec host and journalist.
Activist Yves Engler of Haiti Action Montreal,
one of many groups invited to the Montreal premiere, agreed: "The word is definitely circulating - I think the screening will be well-attended.
"I saw the film in Vancouver six weeks ago, and it's a really good primer on what's going on in Haiti," said Engler, who'll be at the screening flogging his new pamphlet-style book, Canada in Haiti: Waging War on the Poor Majority.
What the film doesn't detail, however, is Canada's participation in Aristide's departure and its continued military presence with the United Nations in Haiti, Engler said. "Canada is now taking the lead in Haiti in the post-coup process - and it's just a human rights catastrophe."
Other Haiti-watchers disagree.
At CPAM-Radio Union, a north-end Montreal Haitian radio station, manager Garoute Leblanc said countries like Canada have inherited Haitians' own errors.
"You can't put all the blame on the international community; people in Haiti have a large share of responsibility, too," he said.
e made mistakes, unpardonable mistakes, that's true.
But he and the people behind him could have found a way to resolve the problems while he was still in power."
Haitians are Montreal's largest immigrant community after Italians. They make up 7.4 per cent of the city's immigrants: 36,280 people, according to the 2001 federal census.
Haitians here tend to line up on two sides of the Aristide question: They either support him or they don't.
A third, newer faction disapproves of his ouster, but opposes his re-election should he ever return to Haiti.
Still claiming he's president, Aristide now lives in exile in South Africa.
Aristide and the Endless Revolution screens tonight at 8:15 at the Cinema ONF, 1564 St. Denis St. A panel discussion - called Haiti in Crisis: Is There a Way Out? - will follow about 9:30 p.m. The festival's website is www.ridm.qc.ca