Owning our Future: Haitian Perspectives in Film
These short films were made during a five week intensive training in documentary film making provided by Community Supported Film in collaboration with Groupe Mèdialternatif. Storyteller’s with backgrounds in a diversity of storytelling mediums, including print, radio, photo or TV journalism, theater, poetry etc., produced stories about important social and economic development issues in their communities. Their films provide a unique opportunity to experience Haiti as it is lived by street vendors, business women, artists, farmers and more. These stories nourish an understanding of the world that counteracts the relentless focus of western media on battlefronts, crises and disasters. For many of the trainees, this is their first experience with film making – but you would never know it based on the quality of their film making and storytelling. We hope you enjoy and let us know what you think at www.csfilm.org.
Owned and Occupied, Creole: Chèmèt, Chèmètrès
Director and Videographer: Bichara Villarson
Description: After the 2010 earthquake a farmer's organization helps its members rebuild their homes. Rather than spend money and time on temporary shelters they work with the farmers and the “Konbit,” a Haitian shared labor system, to rebuild permanent homes at a fraction of the cost that international organizations are spending on their three phase system of relief, relieve and rebuild. 8:28
Importing Disaster, Creole: Dezas Pèpè a
Director and Videographer: Jenipher W. Charles
Description: A multi-generational cobbler’s livelihood is put at risk when donated and imported shoes flood the market after the 2010 earthquake and subsequent lifting of trade barriers. 5:11
Milking Local Capacity, Creole: Pwodiksyon Lèt pou yon Kominote Djanm
Director and Videographer: Jéthro-Claudel Pierre Jeanty
Description: Haitian farmers are fighting the government's allowance of cheap imported food by collaborating to rebuild their production capacity and, thereby, their country’s food security and sovereignty. 5:59
Shifting Gears, Creole: Chanje Vitès
Director and Videographer: Muselène Carilus
Description: In an industry dominated by men, a mother and wife excels in auto repair, breaking common perceptions of the role of women in Haitian society. 5:33
Out of the Rubble, Creole: Soti nan Dekonm
Director and Videographer: Robenson Sanon
Description: Artists use the trash that fills roads and rivers after rain storms, and pickings from the earthquake rubble that still remains in huge sections of the city, to comment on the hopes and challenges facing their ghetto and country.
Ghetto Clean, Ghetto Green, Creole: Geto pwòp, Geto vèt
Director and Videographer: Steeve Colin
Description: Urban activists bring the rural Haitian tradition of the Konbit, shared labor, to the country’s most notorious ghetto. Neighborhoods and youth, divided by gangs and extreme neglect, create urban gardens and clean up the slum through a locally-led participatory approach.
Crafting the Next Generation, Creole: Fòme Jenerasyon k ap Vini an
Director and Videographer: Christien Sylvaince
Description: A skilled craftsman passes down a local art-form by teaching low-income youth the traditional techniques of sculpting recycled metal in Croix-des-Bouquets, the center of the Haitian metalwork movement.
Threading the Needle, Creole: File Zegwi
Director and Sound: Sylvestre Fils Dorcilus
Description: An entrepreneurial Haitian woman, damaged physically, psychologically and economically by the 2010 earthquake, restores her family and her pride by starting her own interior decorating business. 6:02
Banking on My Children, Creole: Envesti nan timoun
Director and Videographer: Jean Wilson Therrier
Description: The proliferation of street sellers is one indicator of the dire straits of the formal economy and employment opportunities in Haiti. As millions are left without access to basic government or banking services, they come up with all kinds of survival techniques. To combat their exploitation by loan sharks they created the “Sol” a uniquely Haitian revolving loan scheme. For some it allows them to reach for something beyond subsistence but for most it simply allows them to pay the loan sharks and avoid injury. 8:38
Brave the World, Creole: Bouske Lavi
Director and Videographer: Marie Jessy Kernizan,
Description: Dieula Marie Denise Souffrant breaks out of the shadows, where most Haitians keep their disabled family members, and not only makes a life for herself but leads the way for others.