THE DEVASTATION of Haiti is well known to most people – including earthquake, floods, hurricanes, and Brazilian insect infestations. The Washington-based filmmaker Fabienne Lips-Dumas was intrigued by the devastation and these human tragedies and is working on “Heroes of the Sun” – a film about the art of surviving in one of the most dangerous places in the world.
MS. LIPS-DUMAS explains how it all started: “It all began in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Institute for Peace during a conference about reconstruction in Haiti. A woman sitting in the first row was asked to talk about her work. She stood wrapped all in blue and started to sing: ‘Resistance…’ Silence. The audience in that cold and academic auditorium was mesmerized. I wanted to meet with her. I did. Her name: Barbara Guillaume, she was an activist and an artist. She wanted to run for mayor in Cit?Soleil. ‘Cit?Soleil? Really?’ I could not believe it. A few years ago, the slum was labeled as a no-law zone, one of the most dangerous places on the planet, claimed the UN. She said to me: ‘Come to Haiti… come!’ A year later, with the support of a French Broadcaster (Group Canal +), I was interviewing her on camera.”
“I WAS INTRIGUED about who these people were, who despite death and destruction, survive and transcend tragedies with such inspiring songs,” says Ms. Lips-Dumas. Cit?Soleil, in the heart of Haiti, has a history of violence like very few places on Earth and is vast. Nearly half a million people live in this slum by the Caribbean sea. The surrounding shores serve as garbage dumps and community toilets. By day the UN forces patrol. But long before sunset, fear of gangs forces outsiders to leave, while the inhabitants lock themselves inside their shacks, and street kids hide in their secret shelters.
“YET, I UNCOVERED a constellation of dreams, wisdom, poetry, hope, pride and dignity. I witnessed unshakable faith and passion for life. The scenes I was lucky enough to capture on film are unforgettable, some are dark and poignant, others are beam with grace and humanity,” says Fabienne Lips-Dumas.
AFTER MORE THAN a year of work, Ms. Lips-Dumas has put together a team to help with editing and distributing the film. The post production will start by September. She is raising funds to cover expenses for the continued work and expects to be finished by the end of the year in time to exhibit the film at major film festivals in 2014 in America and all over the world. In January the promotion starts, and then there will be the preparation for the launch in February.
The funding period is through August 5, 2013. For more information about the project: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1592496100/heroes-of-the-sun-a-feature-documentary-project