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Barikad’ Explores Forbidden Love in Haitian Society
By Anna Wardenburg-Ferdinand, Haitian Times, 4 December 2002

PORT-AU-PRINCE—Movie theaters, usually filled with Hollywood leftovers translated into French, seem to be featuring a new cast. Films made in Haiti by Haitians and for Haitians are proliferating on billboards throughout the capital, with four films released this year.

One such film, Barikad, released last week, proves that Haiti can hold its own in the film world. The film explores a prevalent subject in the Haitian culture. Most well-off people in Haiti have people who wash their clothes, make their food, shop in the markets, clean, iron and so on. Usually from the popular neighborhoods or the countryside, these laborers earn piddling wages for endless work.


In Barikad, Odenie has been introduced to the home of a wealthy family with an intellectual father who talks about social rights while sending his ill-stricken maid, Sonia, to get better with her family in the countryside.

Odenie, a full-size beauty, takes the job so Sonia not lose it. After taking over the daily household duties, a small spark ignites between her and Thierry, the son of the matron mother, and passive father, with a beautiful sister deeply entrenched in the class in which she was born too.

The spark, over the course of the 111-minute movie, becomes a burning ember when the mother goes to the United States for medical reasons. The chemistry between actors Fabienne Colas and Tibert Handy flows with the pace of the script, developing with each short encounter allowed two people of their statuses.

That the love is there is no question. That two people from different worlds cannot turn that love into a life together seems to be the message, though the filmmakers said they left that open for reflection.

It is a taboo subject: the problem of relations between a girl working at the house and the child of the head of the house. We know that the subject wasn’t very commercial, but we had something we wanted to say, said Richard Senecal, director and producer of the film. It has a lot of messages, and people can ask themselves a lot of questions.

The film moves with ease between the two worlds, one on the top of a hill in a beautiful house. Odenie is from the provinces, but her aunt lives across the great ravine on the hills on the other side.

Some scenes address the realities of Haitian daily life, its subtleties and its language that permits us to enter in the truth of the situation. At the 2 p.m. showing of Barikad at the Imperial theater on Delmas 19, moviegoers laughed and empathized with characters.

The pace of the action is slow, letting the story slowly develop. The actors switch between French and Creole, French used mostly in talking to their parents at the breakfast table where bananas and juice are served with their morning dish of spaghetti.

While most of the action takes place in the magnificent home, a hazy shot over the plants in their yard turns clear as we see the hundreds of clustered houses across the divide become sharp. We are now in the house of Odenie’s aunt who once worked for the family and raised the boy with whom Odenie has fallen in love.

People will think you are after his money, his name, the aunt said. But with a hard-to-control love, the two share a kiss before class and family issues come between them, sending Odenie back to her mother’s house and Thierry to study abroad.

Drama Outside the Theatre The large screen and plush seats at the imperial are similar with most movie-going experience, save for the theater’s policy of not allowing the popcorn they sell in the lobby in their screening rooms.

Haitian film took a while to reach the mainstream Haitian culture that frequents movie theaters, Senecal said.

He said Haitian film during the 1970s and early 1980s was more the domain of what he calls intellectual films that weren’t available to the larger population. Then, during the 1980s, when the move from the countryside to the capital brought the swell of the population, filmmakers began using video, greatly cutting the cost of production.

Duvalier fell during that time. There were more people in the city and the market began to evolve. When those [video] films were shown it was an event, the public always responded, said Senecal, sitting in the offices of his video production company, Imagine.

Moviegoers accepted Haitian films with all their imperfections, the director-producer said.

Senecal credits La Peur d’Aimer for raising the standard of low-budget Haitian films. With La Peur d’Aimer, people saw they could actually do good quality films, and Haitian film was taken to a new level, Senecal said.

In the past two years, more Haitian films have been appearing on the screen. But the market is limited, Senecal said.

Haitian cinema doesn’t have a market. In Haiti, we have about 100,000 people that can go to the movies. Of those 100,000 people, when you take out the money from the distributor and the owner of the theater, what is left is small and in gourdes, and the gourdes is devaluating, he said. Senecal says there is a monopoly in Port-au-Prince cinema that he believes allows movie houses to take 50 percent of the box office money. Adding the cost of the distributor and the 10 percent that goes to the government, Senecal is left with little revenue.

There is no competition, if you don’t agree, that’s your problem. If I come out with a small percentage, I come out with a lot, he said.

The producer said that finding financing in the country is hard because most businesses always ask for something in return.

The problem we found was that if they were going to give you $1,000, $2,000, they asked for publicity within the film, like showing their bank. These were things that in ‘Barikad’ would have ruined the story. We wanted it
to stay very simple. So we looked to other sources, said the first time director-producer.

Senecal said the cost of production, $50,000 (U.S.), was partly financed through the Franco Haitian Television Support Group, which provides technical training to Haitian filmmakers.

While making a film in Haiti does bring in money, it’s not enough. Senecal said efforts to bring Haitian films to Haitian communities outside the country have always met with problems.

There are no organized Haitian theaters in the United States, and Senecal said few mainstream theaters would play the films.

Senecal wants to take Barikad to the international festival level where someone might want to buy the film, a way he said that could make making films in Haiti more profitable.

There are films that have been made here lately that can be taken to festivals. I don’t mean Cannes . . . but small festivals where you could maybe sell your film. Maybe a television station would want to buy it, for $15,000 or
$20,000, which isn’t a huge cost abroad but, for us here, would be a big thing. We need to succeed in creating films that can leave Haiti, and with ‘Barikad’ we are going to try, he said.

Comments

comments

37 Archived Responses to “Barikad : The Haitian movie (Barricades)”

  1. jiji lafeuille Says:

    I love and I support haitian;s movies. since haitian produce a lot I don’ t watch other movies anymore. Im strongly encourage haitian movie. they are real and beautiful. I have plenty movies at home and I will keep buying until we, as a people will get there. we will! I hope we keep motivating people not to buy copies.Im very selfish with my movies. Keep up the good job!

  2. Raynald Delerme Says:

    Haitifilms is playing a movie that was published by PVS Communications. This movie has not been authorized or licensed to play on the internet. Please remove this movie from the list.

    Thanks.

  3. ALLAN NEMORIN Says:

    NON

  4. admin Says:

    Dear sir,
    Thank you for your concern. For your information all films here are posted by administrator only and all copyright issues are always handled and negotiated prior to posting. Regarding the movie you claim to have copyrights on we can only refer you to Imagine Haiti the company that produced the movie and which authorized this web broadcast.

  5. sexy fafane Says:

    very nice

  6. Faith Says:

    Please put english subtitles so that we non french and haitians can understand

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  8. amour954 Says:

    i love this movie!

  9. babylove Says:

    i like this movie a lot

  10. hierla Says:

    merci pour cet beau film

  11. hierla Says:

    i love it

  12. adrienne Says:

    omg i love dis movie but i cnt realy understand it doe but i can watch it all dai i luv it iight dat all i wanna said cheeeeeeeeea

  13. bb Says:

    i love dis movie

  14. Luc jean louis Says:

    thanks so much for that movie I really enjoy it,I wish it contunue.bon travay sa fe m plezi mesi.

  15. Patrick Noze Says:

    Evident of the discriminatory life style, that exist in Haiti before the earthquake. The Domestic “restavek” mentality of the Haitian Boujoyzy . I am. Remembering the times some of my friends was not allow to speak Kreyol at the House. My Father Robert Noze, Thought me a valuable Lesson. To never treat anyone worse than you would like to be treated. ” Do on to others, as you would like done to you” We were blessed with 4 Servants and a man ( Gerant La kou) but everyone was treated with respect. I hope in the next phase of Haitian civility. That mentality was killed by the earthquake.

    Films like “Barikad” is a reflection of Haitian High Society and their disreguard for Human rights.. Unfortunately despite the earthquake . The Generation of Haitians with that mentality still continue to strive.
    “Haiti Pa Kab Tombe”
    Patrick Noze
    Artist.
    http://www.patricknoze.com

  16. alexsandria colas Says:

    i like this because it between this lady that clean the house and the lady who is married to the man that that maid and her friend…..

  17. Goda Says:

    i always like to see haitian film. thank you.

  18. Naomie Says:

    i just love that movie n please……whoever that came up with this movie needs to find a way to DO A SECOND ONE. cause honestly i’d love to see the both of them see each other n live happily ever after. (eventhough i know it’s just a movie lol) pls make my wish come true

  19. admin Says:

    As far as we know there has never been any plan for a sequel.

  20. theBra!n™ Says:

    Le meilleur film haïtien de tous les temps. Je l’ai vu, jcrois que j’étais en quatrième. ça me rappelle de beaux souvenirs. Merçi :-)

  21. petervens Says:

    barikad bon bagay … se yon istwa reyel

  22. junia Says:

    Pa gen film ayisyen m renmen konsa.
    Pou mwen se the best.
    Mais je suis Haitien…

  23. julnie Says:

    j’aurai souhaité qui il est un barride 2 où odénie et thierry puisse enfin sauté les barrides, pour pouvoir enfin se marié.

  24. Dady Says:

    Ho veduto quel film, c’e quazi cinque anni, Ma oggi, ho encontro qualcosa molto diferenza e non ho mai vissuto per la prima volta la quale ho fatto la cono scenza di quel film. Per questo, Posso come molto l’avrebbe detto che BARIKAD e il migliore di tutto il film haitiano che ho veduto.
    Mille grazie, per questo bel film, lo voglio molto………..

  25. YOVANNIS Says:

    PERO AHORA TIENEN QUE PONERLA EN ESPAÑOL TAMBIEN

  26. V_Haitian_V Says:

    do you have le pluie d’espoir on this site if so contact me please

  27. admin Says:

    We do not have the copyright to stream “pluie d’espoir”. Sorry.

  28. V_Haitian_V Says:

    oh my lord i want to watch apart from barikad “pluie d’espoir” is my favorite movie give me a link so i can watch it online?

  29. admin Says:

    Sorry we do not promote illegal links.

  30. PIPOLOVE Says:

    IT’S FUNNY TO SEE THAT RENALD DELERME DID NOT EVEN CONTACT YOU IN PRIVATE TO DISCUSS ON THE FACT THAT YOU WOULD HAVE PERMISSION TO POST THE MOVIE.THAT PROVES HOW UNORGANIZED THEY ARE. THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT.HE TRIED TO EMBARASSED. i UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE HELPING THE HAITIAN MOVIE INDUSTRY MORE THAN MOST OF THOSE GUYS. THE HAITIAN MOVIE IS DYING ON DVD THAT THEY SELL EXPENSIVELY EVEN IF THE MOVIE IS 10 YEARS OLD.I WISH THEY WILL UNDERSTAND ONE DAY THEY ARE KILLING THE INDUSTRY BY TRYING TO MAKE MONEY THEMSELVES WHEN SITES LIKE FILMHAITI AND OTHERS CAN NOT ONLY AFTER A CERTAIN TIME POST A MOVIE LIKE U DID BUT ALSO WITH OUR AUDIENCES USE THAT TECHNOLOFY TO PUT THESE MOVIES ON DEMAND AND SHARE THE PROFITS. CAUSE NOT EVERYBODY WANNA BUY A MOVIE THEY ARE NOT SURE IF THEY WOULD LOVE IT BUT WOULD WATCH IT FOR 3 DOLLARS ON DEMAND.GOOD JOB BEL FILM. FE MESAJ LA PASE. GEN OU BANN SIT KI GEN MOUN DEYE YO KE NEG YO TE KA ITILIZE POU PWOMOTE FILM YO E FE ANPIL LAJAN NAN PATAGE INCENTIVE MEN LESPRI TI BOUTIK FE YO PA KA WE IMPOTANS TEKNOLOGI KE YO KA ITILIZE POU PLIS MOUN INVOLVE NAN INDISTRI YA. MAP SITE KEK SIT TANKOU.BELFILM,TELE BOSTON,HAITIPAL ETC

  31. admin Says:

    Ou gen rezon sou anpil pwen. Men fòk nou rekonèt tou gen anpil nan sit sa wap pale yo se pwofite yo vin pwofite sou travay lòt moun nan poste fim yo pa gen dwa sou yo pou rale moun, vann piblisite. Lè moun ki fè fim sa yo kontakte yo menm email yo pa reponn alewè pou yo ta negosye. Gen malfini nan tout kan e se sa ki eksplike pa gen plis pwogrè nan biznis la.

  32. PIPOLOVE Says:

    monche mwen dako avew men mwen ankouraje chita pale olye de menas ou byen goumen paske listwa montre ke sa pa mache avek sit yo. yo toujou ap pase film. paske si moun ki fe movie yo antann yo pou chita sou bagay legal akmoun ki gen website yo avek pri rezonable sou pou mete ou seri de film on demand e si film nan gen anpil tan ke yo gen dwa pasel gratis. mwen panse ke sa ta ka redwi bootleg.youn nan pi gwo pwoblem nan se ke ou pa konn ki moun ki gen dwa kiyes ki pa genyenl.gad kijan ou moun baw ou dwa sou ou film epi baba vini poul few paret kom moun kap fe bagay illegal.se pou indistri ya oganizel le sa yap konn ki moun ki gen dwa pou yo negosye legalman paske mwen rete kwe ondemand lan tap pi bon pou yo ke jis pase film.antouka mwen renmen ke ou chwazi vwa legal la kanmenm se sa ki sipoze fet men fok moun ki gen dwa yo pa egzagere tou nan sa yap mande paske ayisyen pa kwe nan centime yo kwe nan gro lajan ou sel kou.

  33. Stephanie Says:

    i LOVE THIS MOVIE AND i LOVE FABIENNE <3

  34. luciano Says:

    super film, un super thierry et sublime odénie…
    film sans extravangance avec juste la pureté et la sincérité, this movie is the best

  35. PrincessNovi Says:

    I love this movie and it’s the first Haitian movie did not make me want to say any critics , and the actress and actor did a great job. All i can say is that keep on doing these kind of movies and i’m sure all races or nation will support Haitian movies . great job you guys and i love it.

  36. Taicha Says:

    My Favorite Movie I was hoping for Barikad 2 where they both meet again.

  37. FafaneMantal Says:

    i love this movie so much i watch over and over again waouwwwwwww. Haiti cherieeeeeeeee

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