Cite Soleil photos…
...Shaun the sheep comes to Cite Soleil.
(Our main features for the two nights were Disney's animated Robin Hood (Robin du Bois), and Kirikou et La Sorciere.)
On Wednesday, after Dave got the generator running again, we decided to give it a test run with a little screening for the kids from the street where Kid’s Kino team members Sergo (our driver) and Jhon Adam (our translator) are living.
The earthquake completely destroyed Sergo’s house and his only surviving possessions were the clothes he was wearing. He was round John’s uncle and aunt’s house at the time and dug them both out of the rubble (they’re both in their eighties) – he’s now a bit of a neighbourhood hero – John says people call him “The President”
Now Sergo, his wife, their 18 month old little girl Sabrina, John and one other are living in a tent in the street, just along from the abandoned church/school we projected the night’s films on…
Our fourth screening was at a camp on Route Delmar 33… 3000 people living in incredibly tightly packed tents on a football pitch.
The third short film of the screening was “Hedgehog in the Fog” made in 1974 by Yuri Norstein (the Tarkovsky of children’s animation!). Have a look – you won’t be disappointed. As the end credits rolled the rain came down, hard, the crowd of about 150 ran for cover, and we had to abandon the screening, and save the equipment.
This camp is one of the most organised we’ve seen but after half an hour many of the tents were flooded. Everybody we meet here is talking about the coming Rainy Season and what it will mean. No one seems to be building proper drainage ditches or latrines. When the real rains come sewage will overflow, disease will follow and life in the tent cities and camps which is already hard will become unbearable. I asked Joseph Hillel a Haitian/ French Canadian volunteer (see previous entry) why no one is preparing for the rainy season? Because people want to believe the camps are temporary. The owner of an athletic club, for example, doesn’t want drainage ditches and latrines dug into his football pitch. How can people think the camps are temporary? Because huge new re-settlement camps with facilities are being built on the outskirts of the city. We drove past one near the airport which is supposed to re-house people from the central Champs Des Mars area. But why aren’t people moving out there? Because people who have lived all their lives in a certain neighbourhood don’t want to be moved to a piece of wasteland outside the city.
Tomorrow we’re going to go shopping for some kind of shelter for the projector and soundsystem.
Last night we took the Kino with Laurence and her crew to the funeral of Denis in the country town of Cabaret. Denis was one of the incredible interviewees in Laurence Magloire and Anne Lescont’s 2006 documentary Hommes Et Des Dieux which looks at the place gay men in the voudou religion. Being gay is not easy in Haitian society, but because vodou is a non- hierarchical religion there is a place for gay people to practice and celebrate within it. We projected the documentary to about 80 of Denis’s friends, family and neighbours in a tiny packed yard, and a lot of the participants in the documentary were in the audience. It’s rare for Kreol speaking Haitians to see themselves represented on screen, let alone to see the gay community represented on screen – so being in involved in this screening was an amazing and moving evening…
Amidst heat, humidity, dust and mosquitoes, Marko and Dave have been projecting to audiences ranging from 300-500 people each evening. There’s more demand than we can supply and so the HAITI KIDS KINO PROJECT is being welcomed with open arms.French language films are going down great — Ballon d’Or from Guinea, The Red Balloon and Kirikou Et La Sorciere. Slapstick and comedy work very well too… our very first screening was in a small camp in Cite de Soleil in Port au Prince; the programme was – La Belle Fille et Le Sorciere (short – France) Shaun the Sheep – Kite (short – UK) Hedgehog In the Fog (short – Russia) Ballon D’Or (feature – Guinea).. and the crowd loved it! One of the highlights was the whole audience singing and clapping along to Vic Reeves singing the theme to Shaun the Sheep. We’re hoping to continue this great work after Marko and Dave’s return and rainy season passes. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved in any way.