Friday, July 25, 2008

Ghosts of Cité Soleil (2006)

During the embattled final months of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's second term as president of Haiti, Aristide's allies recruited street gangs from the nation's poorest cities to act as strong-arm men, helping to shut down resistance to Aristide and quiet those who opposed him. Called chimères (or "ghosts"), these gang-bangers became a powerful part of Aristide's forces until the president was removed from office by a coup d'etat in 2004. Dutch filmmaker Asger Leth combines mockumentary reenactments with footage shot in the ghettos of Cité Soleil during Aristide's final days in this powerful drama that follows two brothers and chimères, Billy (James Petit Frere) and 2Pac (Winson Jean). Billy dreams of someday leaving behind the gang life and becoming part of Aristide's political machine, while 2Pac has become disillusioned with politics and wants to become a rap star in the manner of his hero and namesake, Tupac Shakur. In a place where political allegiances shift every day and brutal violence is commonplace, Billy and 2Pac's relationship is already a tense one, but matters become even more difficult between them when they both fall in love with the same woman -- Lele (Eleonore Senlis), a French social worker who understands the power these men hold better than they do themselves. Ghosts of Cité Soleil features a musical score by Wyclef Jean of the Fugees, who also appears in the film in a scene in which he discusses music and politics with 2Pac. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Theatrical Feature Running Time: 85 mins
Ghosts of Cité Soleil (2006)
This definitely opened my eyes to some things that I heard about Haiti but only in passing notes. The "Agronomist" also noted some dissatisfaction with Aristide. Definitely this film is an inside view of Cité Soleil and the gang problems (Chimères).
Rebels Against Aristide:

Buteur Metayer {Rebel Leader}
Cannibal Army was an offshoot of Aristide's Party (Fanmi Lavalas), before arming against Lavalas.
The Cannibal Army
By John Maxwell

Then Aristide disbanded the army. I am still curious as to why he did that. I know he accused them of human rights abuses, but first you disarm them with loyal troops and then disband the ones that are implicated. Start with a well trained group and then work out and not arm thugs and call that good.
He made us Lavalas kill Macoute and now that the opposition is back, thy're going to kill Lavalas.
2Pac make it out of Haiti, July 2004.
When his brother was released from prison 2Pac decided to go back and be with his.
2PAC was shot by Labanye on the 30th of September 2004.
He died in Cite Soleil.
Lele is now living in Paris, France.
Billy has diasappeared and is presumed dead.
The Chimeres are still thriving in Cite Soleil.

Misc. Links:
Wyclef Jean
Cité Soleil
Andy Apaid {Political Opposition} {Chief of Police Cité Soleil-Christine ????}
Charles Baker {Political Opposition} {Aristide's gangs attacks on universities and hospitals.}
Louis Jodel Chamblain {Rebel Commander-in exile 10 years)
Guy Philippe {Police Chief?}
Leon Charles {Chief of Police Haiti} {Talks about Labaney, Maral, Dred Wilmer, 2pac, Bily.}

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