With a third theater opening this week, and a line-up that's consistently dedicated to spreading lesser known films, it's no surprise that O Cinema makes a great home for independent filmmakers. And with that comes the opportunity to introduce South Florida communities to cultures they don't typically see on screen. This coming Monday, the cinema will be housing one such work of art at their Wynwood location.
Ayiti Images, a film series that travels through Florida showcasing documentaries and narrative films about the Haitian experience, will be at O Cinema Wynwood on November 10 at 6 p.m. to present their second film after the award-winning documentary, Deported. This work, a narrative feature, is filmmaker Kervans Barthelemy's debut film Kaleb.
See also: O Cinema Miami Beach Opens Friday with Birdman
The film tells the story of a father's strict religious ways and how his cultural disconnection tears his family apart when his decision to kick out his eldest son, Kaleb, affects the entire family. The father's discovery that Kaleb has been accused of rape forces him to decide whether or not he will stand by his son to keep the family together, or whether he will allow religion and culture to dictate their fate.
Not only will the film be screening, but filmmaker Barthelemy will be attending, alongside actor Atibon Nazaire (who stars as the father), to discuss Kaleb and their desire to make films about Haitian narratives. The discussion is essential to this kind of series. Even though the film was shot in Long Island, New York, the film explores a common thread among the immigrant experience and aspects of the Haitian Diaspora journey; generational, cultural, and religious conflicts in an unfamiliar society.
"Ayiti Images was created to do just that: allow the audience to get a different perspective of the Haitian experience through the people who speak it," explains Rachelle Salnave, one of the filmmakers who has brought the Ayiti Images film series to Floridian audiences and just completed her own documentary, La Belle Vie: The Good Life. "The filmmakers behind this collaboration are professional filmmakers who either live in Haiti or are Haitian-American, which also promotes an authentic voice that is seldom heard from its own perspective."
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The notion of wanting to see the voices of one's community represented on screen is something familiar to any minority. With the multiple screenings of Kaleb that Ayiti Images has organized in collaboration with universities and cinemas, Haitian communities are getting the chance to see themselves on screen.
In addition to the O Cinema Wynwood screening, Kaleb will be showing throughout South Florida at the Little Haiti Cultural Center on Friday, November 7, Lake Worth Playhouse on November 8, University of Miami in Shoma Hall on November 11, the African American Research and Cultural Center on November 12, and FIU Modesto Campus in Room GL100B on November 13.