Synopsis by Mark Deming
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.
brother, Haiti, political-unrest, rap-music