Saturday, July 21, 2007

GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL - still-valuable hagio-doc

Asger Leth's documentary is about brutal gangs in the Cite Soleil slum in Port au Prince, Haiti. Run by brothers 2pac and Billy, the gangs are ultra-violent narcissistic teens who were, for a time, propping up Aristide's regime. Filmed in indescribably dangerous circumstances on 16 mil, the doc is an invaluable record of life in a corrupt and seemingly hopeless society. It can also be read as a meta-critique of the influence of popular culture upon the gangs and those that document them: both the brothers and the film-makers are seemingly enthralled by their slick "gangsta" image. Sadly, the film contains no social or political context and, more critically, no editorial detachment.

GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL is on release in the US and the UK.

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