Thursday, April 16, 1998

Raoul Peck: From Haiti to Zaire to Belgium and Back

California College of the Arts

Essay, documentary and feature filmmaker Raoul Peck is now the Culture Minister of Haiti. A Haitian who grew up in Zaire during the tumultuous years of African independence, studied filmmaking in Brussels, and now lives in Haiti, Peck is a unique voice in the cinema of the African diaspora. Using archival footage, home movies, and contemporary interviews, Lumumba: Death of a Prophet is a powerful portrait of visionary leader Patrice Lumumba, a meditation on colonial and post-colonial history in the filmic tradition of Chris Marker, and an exploration of how any image represses the multiple stories surrounding it. Desounen–Dialogue With Death (1994), journeys through rural Haiti to portray the lives and daily struggles–with hunger, deforestation, and death–of those who survive in the midst of political and economic uncertainty.