Monday, January 25, 2010
"Aristide and the Endless Revolution" Haiti Documentary Discussion with Robert Jensen
The suffering of the Haitian people today is the result of a natural disaster compounded by politics. A century of U.S. intervention in Haiti has included military occupation, support for brutal dictators, and backing of coups to depose democratically elected governments. "Aristide and the Endless Revolution" helps us understand that history. The New York Times review described the film as "a probing look into the 2004 overthrow of the twice democratically elected Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who had previously been ousted in a 1991 coup. Mr. Aristide was cherished by his country's poor and deemed ineffectual by the wealthy powers of the United States, France and Canada, among others. Nicolas Rossier's cohesive documentary covers this complex incident -- and Haiti's deteriorating condition since Mr. Aristide's exile -- in a taut, well-balanced 82 minutes, featuring interviews with the charismatic Mr. Aristide's chief defenders (the actor Danny Glover, Representative Maxine Waters of California) and critics (Roger Noriega, a former assistant secretary of state; Timothy Carney, a former United States ambassador to Haiti). Mr. Aristide himself, who currently resides in South Africa, candidly weighs in, while the people of Haiti both voice their opinions and appear in scenes of startling violence and chaos on the streets of their destitute country."