Synopsis by Sarah Welsh
In Haiti: A Painted History, director Jean-Marie Drot has created a stunning film version of his 1992 traveling art exhibition, which documented the island's history through the eyes of native Haitian painters. Beginning with Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and covering five hundred years in the life of a people, this visually sumptuous and provocative history takes a fresh approach to such complex and difficult issues as culture clash, genocide, slavery, political tyranny, massacre, and extreme poverty. What continually emerges from the painted images, paradoxically, is a vibrant optimism and spirit of survival -- a welcome reminder that Haiti has a lush landscape and a rich cultural heritage which somehow transcend and transform its many miseries. Like the artists featured, this groundbreaking documentary manages to confront Haiti's long and tragic history without succumbing to despair or cynicism; it is a testament to the enduring beauty and humanity of the island's people.
art, exhibition, Haiti, heritage, history, politics