Synopsis by Mark Deming
Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, who later went on to become the nation's Minister of Culture, directed this drama that examines the violence and instability of his country's darkest days. In the early 1960s, the corrupt Francois "Baby Doc" Duvalier rose to power in Haiti, and his private army, the Tontons Macoutes, enforced his bidding with an iron fist. Sarah (Jennifer Zubar) is an eight-year-old girl whose father gains the enmity of Janvier (Jean-Michel Martial), a despotic local official who has long responded with torture and violence to those who oppose his tyranny. Now that Duvalier rules Haiti, Janvier has become an associate of the Tontons Macoutes, giving him the power to inflict punishment with impunity. Sarah's parents flee the country in fear of their lives, leaving Sarah and her two sisters behind; the children are left in the care of their grandmother (Toto Bissainthe), a brave woman who refuses to bend to Janvier's will. L'Homme Sur Les Quais received a nomination for the Golden Palm award at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.