A complex historical truth emerges in Nicolas Rossier’s intelligent examination revealing the oft-supressed story of the 2004 coup d’etat in Haiti, as well as the systemic violence and human rights violations that erupted under the interim government. An interview with the deposed president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Pretoria, South Africa, is juxtaposed with the views of a wide range of supporters and critics, including US Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega. It is not Aristide and the Lavalas supporters who emerge looking like thugs but international interests concerned with suppressing popular democracy and ending the reforms Aristide was capable of making - despite embargoes and the need to service a debt for loans Haiti never received.
History repeated itself in Haiti in 2004 in that the former parish priest had already been deposed as president in 1991 with CIA support. His kidnapping marked the fourth American intervention into Haiti in 90 years. This was also not the first intervention by France. In 1801, Napoleon had the leader of free Haiti, Toussant L’Ouverture, seized and deported to prison in France where he died. While faced with the strangulation of aid, Aristide had begun a campaign for reparations. This provocative investigation draws out the central place of international history in Haiti's poverty.
The film features an exclusive interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide and other great personalities such as Dr. Paul Farmer, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega, John Shattuck, Gerard Latortue, Maxine Waters, Jeffrey Sachs, Laennec Hurbon, Guire Poulard, Noam Chomsky, Timothey Carney, Orlando Marville, Kim Ives, Ray Laforest, Brian Concannon, Mario Dupuy, Danny Glover, James Dobbins, Claude Moise and many other Haitian voices.
Produced and directed by Nicolas Rossier
Editor - Cameron Clendaniel
Producer - Roopa Choudhury
Cameras - Nicolas Rossier and Jawad Metni
Co-producer - Cameron Clendaniel
Narrator - Ross Douglas
Music composed by Lubo Astinov
Original music - Misik Serena’d, Produced by Digital / Geronimo Records, Composed by Orline Titus
Co-produced with La Télévision Suisse Romande une enterprise de SRG SSR Idée Suisse, WXEL-TV-DT, West Palm Beach, Florida, Interflix Studio
With the generous support of
NYSCA (the New York State Council on the Arts)
Marilyn Langlois - Schwab Charitable Gift Fund
Fiscally sponsored by Film/Video Arts New York
Associate Producer - Ronald Laporte - Jennifer Filippazzo
Assistant producer - Marianne Brun and Joseph Mastantuono
Film consultants - Michelle Stephenson and Michel Maintenaz
Legal advisor - Innes Smolansky, Esq.
Sound engineer - Tom Gambale
Additional cameras - Vincent Gaines, Raouf Zaki, Andrew Rath, Alexander Kukharenko and Chris Cook-Johnson
Journalists - Cameron Clendaniel and Roopa Choudhury
Research - Laurence Magloire, Michael Kessler, Jennifer Filippazzo
Promotion Associates - Rachel A. Dubreuze, Jennifer Filippazzo
Archival material courtesy of Associated Press Television News, ITN Archives, AP / Wide World Photos, La Television Suisse Romande, Bob Corbett, Michelle Karshan, The Haiti Dreamkeeper Archives, Haiti Diaspo, Crowing Rooster Arts, C-SPAN Archives, The New York Public Library, Thomas Griffin, Democracy Now Productions, Witness
Special thanks to Michelle Stephenson, Katharine Kean, Richard Pena, Irène Challand, Fred Flaxman, Laurence Magloire, Kim Ives, Mahen Bonetti, Witness and NOTION
REVIEWS & QUOTES
“Powerful, cogent, an absorbing piece of investigative journalism.”
Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe
“Even-handed, decide-for-yourself documentary.”
Antonia Zerbias, Toronto Star
“Fortunately, unlike so many similarly politically themed documentaries, the film makes its case with substantial intelligence and conviction."
Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
“Taut, well-balanced, insightful...A probing look into Haiti's contentious modern history.”
Laura Kern, The New York Times
“This film makes a strong statement and brings to light important reportage with a straightforward yet persuasive style.”
Eric Monder, Film Journal International
“Informative and enraging film. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the fate of the world's downtrodden."
Gregg Rickman, San Fransisco Weekly
“File this doc under extremely informative...casts fascinating light on the country's troubled past...filled with haunting footage...”
Cheryl Eddy, San Fransisco Bay Guardian
“A tremendous learning experience for all who want to gain a well balanced understanding of the issues unfolding in Haiti...highly recommend[ed] film...”
Michael J. Coffta, Educational Media Reviews Online
“Well photographed film...Facts and events are depicted with intelligence and integrity.”
“Nicolas Rossier's well-researched documentary draws its own definite conclusions...leaves the dispiriting impression that democracy simply will not be tolerated in the Southern Hemisphere."
Ken Fox, TV Guide
“Bound to stir local passions...a lightning rod for Montreal's second-largest immigrant community."
Jeff Heinrich, The Gazette
“A damning doc...that took the time to uncover the long-suppressed ugly underbelly of the story, we have a better understanding of the series of tragic events which led to the toppling of Aristide’s government."
Kam Williams , Caribo World Radio
“An excellent documentary that should be seen by those wanting a better understanding of contemporary Haitian politics."
Tim Pelzer, People’s Weekly World
”Well-made, balanced review of recent events set in a historic political context."
Wanda Sabir, San Fransisco Bay View
“Gives significant time to the disloyal opposition.”
Joshua Land, Village Voice
“Powerful revisiting of the Haitian Crisis.”
Cecile Lepage, L’Express Pacifique
“By far the most compelling voices are those of the impoverished Haitian people.”
Raven Snook, Time Out NY
“Ingenius, beyond the forest of the mainstream.”
Jooneed Khan, La Presse
“A must see...presents a more balanced account of the events leading to Aristide’s ouster that is hardly ever presented to the world.”
Desiree Addison, Hardbeat News
“A window into our country's right-wing attitudes about emerging democracies, the film is particularly timely. One has only to look at our administration's foreign policy goals with regard to Iraq and Venezuela to get a sense of déjà vu."
Jeff Meyers, Metro Times
“Vital...illustrates that American rhetoric doesn't always match American action...”
Robert Koehler, Variety
“Rossier does give voice to his opposition in Haiti and in the current Bush administration...anyone seeking a real counterpoint to Rossier's film is directed to Jonathan Demme's 2004 documentary The Agronomist.”
Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
“Rossier makes some effort to address allegations by his opponents of corruption and even political murder by Aristide's forces.”
Marc Mohan, The Oregonian
“A must see, not singularly because it details and contextualizes the nation of Haiti and its international condition, but because it is so rare for a film to exhibit such a sense of responsibility towards it's audience and its subject.”Sara Schieron, Filmshi.com“Rossier’s main purpose in the film is to challenge the conventional wisdom and to argue that Aristide’s departure was anything but voluntary...reminds us that it would be more seemly if Western governments (a) supported democracy consistently, regardless of who got elected, or (b) just didn’t support it at all."
Kevin O'Donovan, Cinekkleisa
"Aristide emerges as an effect of the larger problems that plague Haiti...a prism through which to glimpse the horrifying contradictions and turbulences that suffuse Haitian society."
Chadwick Jenkins, POPMatters
"Rossier’s film touches a nerve in this highly charged season of abusive power...The film offers both sides. On the side that opposes Aristide’s government, Rossier presents several voices..."
Zach Kincaid, The Matthew House Project
“Compelling, intriguing, and well-balanced!”
Avi Offer, NYC Guru
“Many of the titles at this year’s VIFF can broaden our understanding of the world, and of other realities. Few, however, will match Aristide in calling forth urgent political action."
Derrick O'Keefe, Seven Oaks Magazine
"Should be added to the list of required films (along with Hearts & Minds, The Education of Little Tree, Black Robe, Slaughterhouse 5, Paths of Glory, Kingdom of Heaven, and The Battle of Algiers) in every high school in the western world”.
Jack Random, Buzzle.com
“A very professionally made and credible documentary. Stunning images and, above all, honesty”
“Challenges the viewer to think of Haiti as a very complicated scenario...a highly polarized issue.”
Robert Maguire, Professor Trinity University, Head of the Haiti Porgram
"Portrays a recent Haiti that is unpleasant and tortuous...shows some important actors in the recent political saga, from both the left and the right, and makes it possible for the general viewing public to hear them and even relive the 2004 events."
Hyppolite Pierre, Amnesty International Country Specialist
Author of Haiti, Rising Flames from Burning Ashes
“What a good film. I saw it twice, and showed it to friends in Haiti...a great tool.”
Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health
Author of The Uses of Haiti
“One of the most educational films I have ever seen about Haiti's political reality and the forces that bear on it.”
Guy S. Antoine, founder of Windows on Haiti
“Informative and very moving. An excellent film about the sad recent political history of Haiti that not only provides a rich, well-detailed context for understanding the rise and fall and rise and fall of Aristide but also offers a provocative meditation of the role of outside, especially American, forces and interests in his tumultuous career.”
Richard Peña, program director, Film Society of Lincoln Center
“This film deserves to be seen by Haitians. We don’t have many weapons to denounce the daily atrocities that my people have been victim of and your film seems to be exactly what we need today.”
Nadine Dominique, Haitian activist (daughter of the late Jean Dominique)
“Endlessly important film. At last a clear and authentic picture of Aristide's character and record.”
Albert Maysles, filmmaker
“Powerful documentary...I learned so much from the film.”
Kristine Samuelson, professor / director, Documentary Film and Video Program Stanford University
“A fabulous film...well-considered and devastating indictment of US foreign policy...a terrific job of reducing a fairly complicated plot into a cogent and ultimately blood-roiling work.”
Marc Mauceri, First Run Features
“Fascinating, disturbing, thought-provoking, and very worthwhile film. Whether you do or don’t believe what we’re fed through the media, this amazing documentary gives the viewer plenty of food for thought...a stimulating look at Jean Bertrand Aristide's rein of power in Haiti through powerful visuals and candid interviews”
R. Gallyott, KWMR
“Very compelling. You linked U.S. policy to particular economic interest that need to be understood by a broad group of people."
Walter Riley, civil rights attorney
Board chair, Vanguard Public Foundation
“A bang-up job, and I will highly recommend this film to anyone...thank you for producing this important work...”
Stuart Maxwell, founder and editor of the Louverture Project
“A compelling film...a good history of Aristide’s presidency and departure from office, and the impact on Haiti.”
“N’hésitant pas à rompre avec le discours convenu, utilisant des images et des entretiens inédits, Nicolas Rossier lève enfin le voile sur les événements survenus en Haïti à la fin de l’hiver 2004. Son nouveau film, Aristide or the Endless Revolution, est un document-choc indispensable pour comprendre le caractère explosif de la situation dans la première république nègre du monde qui pourrait bien devenir l’Irak des CaraÏbes.”
Claude Ribbe, author of L’Expédition
“Rossier bravely exposes this great truth: the fire of the slave revolution continues to burn in every hungry Haitian’s heart.”
Thomas Griffin, human rights reporter
“A very thorough job of documenting Aritiste's story...all the relevant and necessary components were there.”
Mahen Bonetti, African Film Festival
“I am veryproud to have my name associated with this superb documentary.”
Fred Flaxman, WXEL Miami
“I learned quite a few things about the dire situation in Haiti from this documentary that are not covered in the mainstream media.”
PoChu AuYeung, Vancouver International Film Festival
“Makes a convincing case that a conspiracy was orchestrated by Washington to deliberately destabilize the country, and sheds light on the political intrigue, manipulation, lies and mistakes that led to Haiti’s being plunged once again into chaos."
Montreal International Documentary Festival
“Extremely well received. After the first screening, the buzz caught on and it was one of our best attended screenings. The audience wanted to talk about the subject and were very aware of the recent elections. They were thankful to get the information contained in the documentary and felt it gave them a better understanding of the issues surrounding the kidnapping of the President and the push to replace him with the current elections."
Asantewa, Pan African Film Festival
February 4: Read Nicolas Rossier's HuffPost Op-Ed on Haiti's political reconciliation.
January 19: Nicolas Rossier appears on RT's "CrossTalk" with Peter Lavelle, Ezili Danto and Stanley Lucas.
November 20: Nicolas Rossier is interviewed by Laura Flanders of the Nation magazine on Grit TV.
November 18: 8-minute excerpt of Nicolas Rossier's interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide appears on Grit TV.
November 17: Nicolas Rossier appears on RT's "CrossTalk" with Hyppolite Pierre and Ambassador Ernest Preeg of the Haiti Democracy Project.
November 11: Watch Nicolas Rossier's full interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide on HuffPost.
January 12: Haiti is plunged into complete chaos by the earthquake. Please support the relief effort by donating to Partners in Health, the American Red Cross or UNICEF.
December 12: Aristide's Lavalas party is barred from the February ballot in Haiti.
January 1: Aristide and the Endless Revolution sold to CBC Radio Canada, Planet TV, CabSat Free TV Poland, Public Senat France, Cab Sat Free TV Scandinavia, SABC South Africa, PECO South Africa, Historia in Spain, HITN USA.
October 1: Aristide and the Endless Revolution to be screened at the Maysles Cinema as part of the "Haiti in Harlem" festival. Filmmaker Nicolas Rossier will be attending.
January 14: Aristide and the Endless Revolution to be aired three times on Public Senat, one of France’s two government channels.
October 30: The kidnapping of pro-Lavalas members continues. Following the kidnapping of Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, Haitian police are now searching for the missing spokeswoman of Aristide's party.
February 22: Peter Hallward completes a very compelling interview of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
February 5: The Lancet regrets the errors but validates the report by Lynn Duf.
January 18: Filmmaker Nicolas Rossier reviews a great book by young Haitian scholar Hyppolite Pierre for Haiti Analysis.
January 1: Aristide and the Endless Revolution awarded the 2007 NYSCA Individual Artist Grant.
November 17-19: The School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) Vigil to be held at Fort Benning, Georgia. Thousands are expected to gather at the gates to demand the closure of the school.
November 10: The PBS Educational Media website for teachers is now selling and endorsing Aristide and the Endless Revolution.
November 8: Screening and discussion of Aristide and the Endless Revolution with Nicolas Rossier and Hippolyte Pierre, professor and author at the University of Albany.
September 6: Advertisement for Aristide and the Endless Revolution is released in the Foreign Affairs online magazine.
August 31: Shocking Lancet study released reporting "8,000 Murders, 35,000 Rapes and Sexual Assaults in Haiti During U.S.-Backed Coup Regime After Aristide Ouster."
August 15: A US human rights group sues for info on Haiti loans.
July 25: Aristide and the Endless Revolution is released on DVD and is now available on Amazon.com and on this website via PayPal - including international orders - as well as on all the main DVD wholesale websites in the US and Canada.
July 17: thousands march to demand Aristide's return to Haiti.
Haiti, Rising Flames from Burning Ashes: Haiti the Phoenix
by Hyppolite Pierre
A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation
by Gustavo Gutierrez
Les Pauvres, Jesus et l’Eglise
by Paul Gauthier
Haiti's Predatory Republic: The Unending Transition to Democracy
by Robert Fatton
Killing Hope, U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II
by William Blum
Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment
by Peter Hallward
The Prophet and Power: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the International Community, and Haiti
by Alex Dupuy
Haiti d'un Coup d'Etat a l'Autre
by Nicolas Mireille
Coup d’Etat : A Practical Handbook
by Edward N. Luttwak
Haiti in Focus: A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture
by Charles Arthur
The Uses of Haiti
by Paul Farmer
Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup
by Noam Chomsky
Haitian Revolutionary Studies
by DP Geggus
Garde Haiti: Twenty Years of Organization and Training by the US Marine Corps
by James H.McCrocklin
From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti
by David Nicholls
ARTICLES & REPORTS
"UN Accuses Haiti of Massive Illegal Detentions"
by Joseph Guyler Delva
"Mixed U.S. Signals Helped Tilt Haiti Toward Chaos
by Walt Bogdanich and Jenny Nordberg, The New York Times
“Insurgency and Betrayal: An Interview with Guy Philippe”
by Peter Hallward
"An Interview with Jean-Bertrand Aristide"
by Peter Hallward
“The Media and the 2004 Haiti Coup”
by Isabel Macdonald
“A War Waged on the Aristide Regime: An Interview with Robert Fatton"
by Eric Ruder
“Can the New Congress Help Uncover the Truth? Resolutions for Haiti"
by Brian Concannon
"Human Rights Abuse and Other Criminal Violations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: A Random Survey of Households"
by Athena R Kolbe and Royce A Hutson, The Lancet
"Voting for Hope: Elections in Haiti"
by Peter Hallward
"Beloved Haiti: A (Counter) Revolutionary Bicentennial"
by Stan Goff
"Haïti: retour à la case départ. Retour sur l'interview de Jean-Bertrand Aristide"
by Claude Ribbe, Press Afrique
"A Concise History of Liberation Theology"
by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff
"From His First Day in Office, Bush Was Ousting Aristide"
by Jeffrey D. Sachs
"Uncle Sam's Backyard: A Troubled History"
by Paul Reynolds
"Enemy Ally: The Demonization of Jean-Bertrand Aristide"
by Jim Naureckas
"Elections in Haiti in 2000"
The Louverture Project
"Haiti: Obliterating justice, overturning of sentences for Raboteau massacre by Supreme Court is a huge step backwards"
"Haiti - Country Assistance Evaluation, 2002"
The World Bank
"Report on Haitian French Relations"
by Regis Debre, January 2004
"Haiti Human Rights Report: Presented to the International Association of Democratic Lawyers"
prepared by Bill Quigley, Professor of Law, Loyola University
"Withheld International Aid: The US Weapon of Mass Disruption"
"Why They Had to Crush Aristide: Haiti's Elected Leader was Regarded as a Threat by Trance and the US"
by Peter Hallward, The Guardian
"Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide Attributes His Falling-out with Washington to a Disagreement Over Privatization"
by Naomi Klein, The Nation
"Who Removed Aristide?"
by Paul Farmer, London Review of Books
"Keeping the Peace in Haiti? An Assessment of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti"
Harvard Law School, Human Rights Program
"Haiti Human Rights Investigation: November 11-21, 2004"
by Thomas Griffin, University of Miami School of Law, Center for the Study of Human Rights
Haitian Book Centre - a listing of publications on Haiti from September 2000 to the present
Resources of the Americas - news and commentary on Haiti
Journal of Haitian Studies - the official publication of the Haitian Studies Association and the only refereed scholarly journal dedicated solely to scholarship on Haiti and Haiti's relations with the international community
Haitian Studies Association - an educational organization that promotes research on Haiti and Haitians, identifies and disseminates information on Haiti, and has an international network of competent experts to address Haitian issues, both from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives
Haiti Forever - a database of films about Haiti
Partners in Health - in 1987 Paul Farmer, featured in Aristide and the Endless Revolution, founded Partners In Health and began a global health movement
Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti - a grassroots organization that promotes human rights In Haiti and has been very critical of the 2004 coup against Aristide
National Coalition for Haitian Rights - highly politicized organization that was instrumental in the propaganda machine against Aristide but their link page contains some good information
Haiti Archives - a quality historical archive on Haiti
Webster University: Haiti - one of the most respected websites on Haiti
Trinity University Haiti Program - provides accurate, up-to-date, and insightful information and analysis to individuals and organizations involved in current Haitian political, economic and social issues
Council on Hemispheric Affairs - founded in 1975, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and information organization that has been described on the Senate floor as being “one of the nation’s most respected bodies of scholars and policy makers"
Haiti 1804-2007 - resource for Haitian history
American Friends Service Committee - articles, reports, and other materials on Haiti
Latin American Studies - created by Dr. Antonio Rafael de la Cova of Latin American Resource with a great image gallery on the Haitian Revolution
Louverture Project - a blog that tracks news related to Haitian history, as well as Haitian cultural events and happenings