Love & Survival Collide in Post-Earthquake Haiti in “Ayiti Mon Amour” Sneak Peek – Caribbean Film Series, June 1st at BAMcinématek
The hopes and fears of multi-generational characters come alive in this magical filmof modern day Haiti. Co-presented with Haiti Cultural Exchange. Director Guetty Felin in attendance for post-screening Q&A.
May 2, 2016/Brooklyn, NY – The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 turned what was already a country in economic and social turmoil into one that had to fight even harder to survive. But the citizens of Haiti are perhaps the most resilient people on the planet. With the vigor that got the enslaved population in the late 1700’s to lead the first successful slave rebellion in history, and which led them to become the first independent nation in the Caribbean, the second democracy in the western hemisphere, and the first Black republic in the world – they survived beyond the devastation.
In the emerging post-earthquake cinema, no voice shines as brightly as Haitian-American filmmaker Guetty Felin. And in this sneak peek at her new film, Ayiti Mon Amour, the writer-director invokes the country’s past and present with stories that intertwine and collide, telling the stories of poignant characters in a poetic and visually stunning array minus a narrative of sorrow and pity. The film made its world premiere at the Curacao International Film Festival of Rotterdam, as a Yellow Robin Award Nominee, and its U.S. Premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
In Kabic, a small southeast fishing village outside of Jacmel, we meet four people trying to make sense out of their existence. There is Orphee, bullied for being different and grieving the loss of his father, who one day discovers he has a special electrifying power gained from the sea – but with great power comes great responsibility; the love story of the old fisherman Juares, caring for his ailing wife Odessa, who has come down with a disease only the sea can cure; the beautiful & mysterious Ama, the main character of an unfinished novel being written by an uninspired writer, who becomes weary and decides to leave the story to live a life of her own. And then, there is Rags, the empty clothing, which houses the underwater-animated spirits of the dead.
A magical neorealist tale, “Ayiti Mon Amour, is a love poem to my native land; a place that I ache for, that haunts me, that frightens and yet angers me, a place that I am fiercely and madly in love with,” says Felin. For the director, Ayiti was born out of her desire “to make something out of nothing…the desire to no longer be waiting for approval, for funders, for bankable actors.” She regards her film as inspired by Italian neo-realism director Roberto Rossellini’s Paisan (1946), and all about “salvaging love after disaster.”
Presented in conjunction with Haiti Cultural Exchange, BAMcinématek, and the Brooklyn Cinema Collective, Ayiti Mon Amour will screen at BAM Rose Cinemas on Wednesday, June 1st at 7:30pm. The short film Papa Machete (2014), by director Jonathan David Kane and producers Third Horizon, precedes the film. A Q&A with “Ayiti Mon Amour,” director Guetty Felin will follow..
For ticket information go to bam.org/film. For overall information about the Caribbean Film Series and the Caribbean Film Academy contact Romola Lucas, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brooklyn Cinema Collective’s Curtis Caesar John, at email@example.com.
With Anisia Uzeyman, Joakim Ethan Cohen, Jaures Andris, Pascale Faublas, James Noel, Judith Jeudi
In a small fishing hamlet forgotten by the rest of the world, the sea is gaining ground and although the memories of the great disaster still lingers, life and love must prosper and survive in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Several characters try to make sense of their own existence, including a teenager studying Japanese who is bullied for being light-skinned, a writer and his muse who are grappling with their identities, an old fisherman caring for his ailing wife, and the empty clothing of victims taken by the sea that appear as living while covering rocks on the shore. With demonstrations against corruption becoming as commonplace as fisherman fighting for their livelihood, the hopes and fears of the Haitian people collide at a critical moment in their history.
An intimate account of ‘Professor’ Alfred Avril, one of the world’s only known masters of the esoteric martial art of Haitian machete fencing, known in Creole as ‘Tire Machet’. The film documents a proud, but aging man’s devotion to his heritage and his desire to continue tradition.
“Papa Machete,” made its world premiere in 2014 at the Toronto International Film Festival, and its U.S. premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. It went on to screen at numerous other festivals, winning the Short Film Jury Award at the 2015 Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival.
About the Caribbean Film Academy
Established in 2012, The Caribbean Film Academy (CaFA), is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of Caribbean filmmaking and filmmakers, in the region and the diaspora. CaFA’s work is focused on promoting and sharing the art of storytelling through film from the unique perspective of the Caribbean.
About The Brooklyn Cinema Collective
The Brooklyn Cinema Collective (BCC) is a media consulting and advocacy non-profit company helmed by Curtis Caesar John, a media-maker and arts manager operating out of New York City. A longtime film programmer, Curtis served as Festival Director of New Voices in Black Cinema, a film festival he helped create, that takes place at BAMcinématek and brought audiences the NYC premieres of such films as Neil Drumming’s Big Words and Alain Gomis’ Tey, among many other worthwhile and breakthrough films.
The four-screen BAM Rose Cinemas (BRC) opened in 1998 to offer Brooklyn audiences alternative and independent films that might not play in the borough otherwise, making BAM the only performing arts center in the country with two mainstage theaters and a multiplex cinema. In July 1999, beginning with a series celebrating the work of Spike Lee, BAMcinématek was born as Brooklyn’s only daily, year-round repertory film program. BAMcinématek presents new and rarely seen contemporary films, classics, work by local artists, and festivals of films from around the world, often with special appearances by directors, actors, and other guests. BAMcinématek has not only presented major retrospectives by major filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Manoel de Oliveira, Shohei Imamura, Vincente Minnelli (winning a National Film Critics’ Circle Award prize for the retrospective), Kaneto Shindo, Luchino Visconti, and William Friedkin, but it has also introduced New York audiences to contemporary artists such as Pedro Costa and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In addition, BAMcinématek programmed the first US retrospectives of directors Arnaud Desplechin, Nicolas Winding Refn, Hong Sang-soo, and Andrzej Zulawski.
BAM Rose Cinemas is located in the Peter Jay Sharp building at (between St Felix Street and Ashland Place).
Subway: 2, 3, 4, 5, Q, B to Atlantic Avenue; D, M, N, R to Pacific Street; G to Fulton Street; C to Lafayette Avenue
Train: Long Island Railroad to Flatbush Avenue
Bus: B25, B26, B41, B45, B52, B63, B67 all stop within three blocks of BAM
Car: Commercial parking lots are located adjacent to BAM
For ticket and BAM bus information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org. For group ticket information, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100, or visit BAM.org