Seeing Haiti Through “Lafanmi Selavi” | Chicago Reader

Seeing Haiti Through “Lafanmi Selavi”

Lafanmi Selavi (“the family is life”) is the name of a center for street kids in Haiti founded in 1986 by Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The children in Lee Flynn and Caitlin Manning's video documentary are inspiring in their sincerity as they tell of their terrible pasts (one lost her family to a shipwreck and was homeless for weeks) and hopes for the future (“I believe evil will end”). The imagery is a bit slick, with arty superimpositions and sections edited to music; the filmmakers focus on the positive, interviewing Aristide and reporting what the kids are doing today, but also detail the many attacks on the center by Aristide's political opponents, including a deadly arson. 56 min.

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