The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
Chicago Theatrical Premiere
GHOSTS OF CITÉ SOLEIL
"There has never been anything quite like Asger Leth's film; it's amazing it even exists and that the director is still alive." -Variety
"Raw, uncompromising...an unforgettable, visceral journey into the heart of darkness, grueling poverty and anarchy" -Hollywood Reporter
"A forceful documentary...An expressionistic portrait of a society in violent chaos, the film blends cinéma vérité and newsreel footage to capture a modern-day tragedy with Shakespearean overtones." -Los Angeles Times
"Gripping...This is intimate reporting" -Chicago Sun-Times
Critic's Choice! "Aggressively shot and tightly edited...the most gripping documentary I've seen all year" -Chicago Reader
In 2004, 200 years after Haiti became the first independent black republic and 13 years after Jean-Bertrand Aristide became the country's first democratically elected president, Haiti once again found itself in turmoil. Government protesters stormed the streets of the impoverished capital Port-au-Prince, and Aristide enlisted armed gangs, called chimères, from the ruthless slum of Cité Soleil to intimidate them. This impoverished neighborhood, which the United Nations has called the most dangerous place on Earth, is where director Asger Leth made this riveting and raw documentary. He follows the daily grind of two gang leaders, the magnetic twentysomething brothers 2Pac and Bily. Guns, violence and the constant threat of murder fill their days, as does a French relief worker, named Lele, who seems more interested in flirting with the brothers than she is in improving their situation. As national and local crises escalate, it becomes unclear exactly who and what the gangs are fighting. Aristide, the police, international peacekeepers, rival gangs, fraternal issues and the brothers' shared affection for Lele lead them into a complex and constant war. Every day-every hour, even-they risk death, but a fundamental question remains: for what? The brothers' only outlet is their music, and they are impassioned rappers who give new meaning to the term "gangsta rap." 2Pac even manages to play his music over the phone for Wyclef Jean, the hugely successful Haitian-born musician. Wyclef serves as an executive producer on the film, and provides a thumping original soundtrack.
Filmmaker Asger Leth attained an incredible level of trust from his subjects that allowed him to capture unfiltered scenes of brutal honesty; scenes not just of terrifying violence but also of intimate moments between the lovers that serve as startling counterpoint to the world outside, where life seems completely hopeless.
Directed by Asgar Leth and Milos Loncarevic, Denmark/U.S.A., 2006, 35mm, 88 mins. In English, French and Haitian with English subtitles. In Creole and French with English subtitles.