A Haitian film festival, March 12-14, will screen recently produced features, documentaries and short subjects about Haiti at various locations on campus. A $5 minimum donation is suggested per film to benefit the relief efforts of Partners in Health.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Ayiti Cheri (“Dear Haiti”) Haitian Film Festival, March 12-14, 2010, will screen recently produced Haitian features, documentaries and shorts at various locations around campus.

Opening night will feature a romantic comedy by one of Haiti’s best known writer/directors: Dany Laferrière’s How to Conquer America in One Night. Another festival highlight is the documentary The Agronomist, a classic of Haitian cinema by American filmmaker Jonathan Demme.

A $5 minimum donation is suggested per film. Proceeds will benefit Partners in Health’s earthquake relief efforts.

Festival sponsors include the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the Watson Institute; Haitian Earthquake Relief Effort at Brown; New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema; and Alliance for Haiti.

For more information, visit www.watsoninstitute/clacs/ or call (401) 863-2645.


The Schedule

Friday, March 12, 2010

6 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Room 117
How to Conquer America in One Night, Dany Laferrière

Saturday, March 13, 2010

1 p.m. in List Art Center, Room 120
The Agronomist, Jonathan Demme

3 p.m. in List Art Center, Room 120
The Road to Fondwa, Dan Schnorr

3:45 p.m. in List Art Center, Room 120
Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy, Renée Bergan and Mark Schuller

7 p.m. in Salmon Center for Teaching (Room 001)
On the Verge of a Fever, John L’Ecuyer

Sunday, March 14, 2010

1 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Room 117
The President has AIDS?, Arnold Antonin

3 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Room 117
Looking for Life, Claudette Coulanges

5 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Room 117
Jacques Roumain: Passion for a Country, Arnold Antonin

5:15 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Room 117
60 Minutes: Dr. Farmer's Remedy for World Health


The Films

How to Conquer American in One Night (2004, 96 min., romantic comedy; French with English subtitles)
Newly arrived in Montreal and determined to conquer North America by charming blond women, Gégé, a Haitian in his thirties, ends up with his nostalgic uncle who dreams of returning to his homeland and who has given up poetry to drive a cab. Over the course of one night filled with humor and friendship — highlighted by a party attended by Quebecois twins Andrée and Denise — the two fun-loving guys take stock of their lives, memories and fantasies.

The Agronomist (2003, 90 min., documentary; English, French, Creole)
This profile of Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist Jean Dominique includes historical footage of Haiti’s vivid and tumultuous past; interviews with Dominique and his heroic wife, Michele Montas; and footage shot before Dominique’s assassination on April 3, 2000.

The Road to Fondwa (2008, 37 min., documentary; Haitian Creole with English subtitles)
The powerful story of a rural Haitian community poised to change the future of Haiti — one university student at a time.

Poto Mitan: Haitian Women Pillars of the Global Economy (2009, 50 min., documentary)
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: inhumane working and living conditions, violence, poverty, lack of education, and poor health care. Through their collective activism, these women demonstrate that despite monumental obstacles in a poor country, collective action makes change possible. Edwidge Danticat, award-winning author of Brother, I’m Dying, calls it “a moving and stirring film, showing Haitian women speaking for themselves. A must see!”

On the Verge of a Fever (2004, 88 min., drama; French with English subtitles)
Against the backdrop of poverty, fear and the brutal dictatorship of Haiti in 1971, a sheltered 15-year-old boy just wants to experience life for himself with his streetwise friend. After a bizarrely terrifying incident involving a Tonton-Macoute, he decides to hide out at his beautiful neighbor’s house for the weekend, where he is trapped between his fear of being caught and the fulfillment of his deepest fantasy.

The President has AIDS? (2007, 110 min., comedy/drama; Haitian Creole and French with English subtitles)
In this Haitian comedy-drama about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Dao is the biggest movie star in Haiti: the self-proclaimed “President of Compas,” with women falling at his feet and men emulating him. He feels invincible, except that he can no longer hide the illness which threatens to derail his career. Despite pressure from his manager to get tested for AIDS, Dao turns instead to rituals, spells, and the church. Meanwhile, at one of his concerts, he rescues Nina from the leery advances of Larieux, a wealthy and powerful businessman, who Nina’s mother wants her to marry. As romance blossoms between Dao and Nina, who likes Dao despite his fame and not because of it, Larieux plots his revenge.

Looking for Life (1999, 60 min., documentary; Haitian Creole and French with English subtitles
Anne-Rose and Rosemene have their own particular ways 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 Rosemene buys her midday meal on credit from Anne-Rose. The connection of two women shows the constant battle for survival that Haitan women face. Beyond this, the film shows the collapse of Haitian regional production, which has ruined Haiti’s economy.

Jacques Roumain: Passion for a Country (2008, 11 min., historical documentary; Creole and French with English subtitles)
This exploration of Haitian society of the late 19th and early 20th centuries focuses on the tormented life of Jacques Roumain, one of Haiti’s most important authors and prominent political figures. In his perceptive writings, Roumain raised questions about the issues facing Haiti that remain relevant today.

60 Minutes: “Dr. Farmer’s Remedy to World Health” (2008, 60 min., CBS documentary)
As Byron Pitts reports, more than 20 years ago Dr. Paul Farmer and a few other great minds created a charity called Partners In Health. In the years since, they revolutionized the delivery of health care worldwide, saving millions of lives in places where no one thought there was any reason for hope.