The docu­men­tary begins with a history lesson: once upon a time, Haiti was called the pearl of the Antilles. After the uprising of African slaves in 1804, it became the first free black state in the world. Nowa­days, Haiti is a poor, corrup­tion-ridden country. Film­maker and narrator Hans Fels has been visiting the island for years and looks beyond this nega­tive image. To him, the Haitians are masters in the art of living. The biggest ray of hope is the uncom­pleted opera Le Maryaj Lenglensou by local composer Ipharès Blain. He is an elderly man who still believes in his opera, but lacks the means to realise it. On the docu­men­tary maker’s initia­tive and supported by the Dutch Foun­da­tion Doen, the opera was put on in 2006, after all. Without further comment, the film follows the audi­tions of musi­cians, the rehearsals led by a Dutch conductor and the even­tual perfor­mances at beau­tiful, exotic loca­tions. With this opera produc­tion, Haiti’s rich musical past briefly revives.

Title: Le Maryaj Lenglensou
Year: 2007
Duration : 1 hour, 33 minutes
Category: Long Documentary
Edition: NFF 2007

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