2019 Haitian Film Series

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8th Annual Haitian Film Series, curated by Jacques Pierre, Haitian Creole and Creole Studies

All films at 7 p.m. in the Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall (Room 240) in the John Hope Franklin Center, 2204 Erwin Road, Durham, NC

March 8

LEGACY OF THE SPIRITS.  Dir. Karen Kramer (1985) 53min. 

Legacy of the Spirits traces the religion from Africa to Haiti to New York City. It explains the theology of the religion, the meaning of the rituals, the pantheon of spirits, possession, the sacred drawings (called vèvè), the Catholic influence, the history of persecution and more. This is all explained by priests and priestesses who practice Vodou and who give the film the quality of being both informative, yet

March 22

VOODOO AND THE CHURCH IN HAITI. Dir. Andrea Leland (1989), 44 minutes

Western and African cultures collide in Haiti resulting in religious conflict between Christianity and Voodoo. Despite centuries of vigilant opposition from the Christian Church, Voodoo has flourished in Haiti and continues to be one of the strongest elements underlying Haitian culture. This film dispels Hollywood stereotypes and presents Voodoo as a belief system that has been passed down from African ancestor to slave to present day Haitian.

April 5

BUYING THE SPIRITS.  Dir. Saskia Rietmejier and Bart Drolenga (2004), 53 min.

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 and 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.

April 12

SERENADE FOR HAITI.   Dir. Owsley Brown (2016). 70 min 

This documentary illustrates the incredible power of music, art, and education to hold together one community through tragedy, upheaval, and uncertainty. The documentary captures a rare view of Haiti, a complex and widely misunderstood country, and finds a story of transcendence and great humanity as the students and teachers of the Sainte Trinité Music School turn to music and education to unlock the power of their own lives.

For more info, contact jacques.pierre@duke.edu

Co-sponsored by Franklin Humanities Institute, Haiti Lab, and Romance Studies