Ghosts of Cite Soleil | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Ghosts of Cite Soleil


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Filmmakers Asger Leth and Milos Loncarevic plunged into Haiti's most desperate, dangerous slum in February 2004, as President Aristide was losing his grip on power, and came back with a powerful human story about two brothers on the wrong side of history. Gang leaders in Port-au-Prince's squalid Cite Soleil district, 2Pac and Bily came to enjoy unlimited power and prestige after Aristide enlisted them and their soldiers to brutalize his political opposition. 2Pac is cynical and morbid, Bily hopeful and civic-minded, but both covet Eleonore Senlis, a white Parisian relief worker who depends on their protection to care for the slum dwellers. This drama is eventually overtaken by political upheaval as the rebels prevail, Aristide is removed from office, and the gangs, now targeted by the UN peacekeeping force, try to negotiate a disarmament with the new government. Aggressively shot and tightly edited, this 2006 Danish release is the most gripping documentary I've seen all year. In English and subtitled French and Haitian. 86 min. a Facets Cinematheque. --J.R. Jones

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