Made by a collective from Haiti, France and the UK, “Ouvertures” moves from the frozen landscapes of the Jura mountains to the urban centres of Port-au-Prince, bringing the Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture back to life. In France a Haitian researcher attempts to read the past within the stratigraphic layers of Jurassic limestone, while in Haiti a group of young actors translate and rehearse scenes from “Monsieur Toussaint”, a play written by Édouard Glissant that recounts Louverture’s final days, as he lay dying in exile in a prison cell in the Jura in 1803. Ghosts from the pantheon of Haitian history visit Louverture on his deathbed and put him on trial and as the play proceeds the actors become possessed by their characters. Eventually the ghost of Louverture joins the group and takes them on a voyage for a new kind of exile.
Feature (132mins) Documentary | Haiti, France
French, Haitian Creole with subtitles
Louis Henderson is a filmmaker and writer who experiments with different ways of working with people to address and question our current global condition defined by racial capitalism and ever-present histories of the European colonial project. Since 2017, Henderson has been working within the artist group The Living and the Dead Ensemble. Consisting of Mackenson Bijou, Rossi Jacques Casimir, Dieuvela Cherestal, James Desiris, Louis Henderson, Léonard Jean Baptiste, Cynthia Maignan, Sophonie Maignan, Olivier Marboeuf, Mimétik Nèg, the Ensemble are based between Haiti and France. Their first feature film Ouvertures was awarded a FIPRESCI special mention at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival 2020. Henderson's work has been shown in various international film festivals, art museums and biennials and is distributed by LUX, Video Data Bank and Phantom. He lives and works in Paris and Berlin.
Olivier Marboeuf is a writer, storyteller and curator. He founded the independent art centre Espace Khiasma which he ran from 2004 to 2018 in Les Lilas, on the outskirts of Paris. In 2017, Khiasma merged into an experimental platform, exploring ways of collectively creating a place and developing an online radiophonic tool, R22 Tout-Monde. Interested in the different modalities of transmission of knowledge, Olivier Marboeuf’s proposals, at Khiasma and elsewhere, broadly inscribe themselves in practices of conversation and speculative narratives, attempting to create ephemeral situations of culture. His interest for narrative forms in art led him to develop a specific practice of accompaniment for artists inscribed in film practices. He currently produces films within Spectre productions, based in Rennes, and contributes to the cinematic distribution and research unit, Phantom.