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