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Haitian Filmmaker Patricia Benoit’s ‘Stones in the Sun’ : Gripping Tale About Haitian Immigrants in the U.S.


I have to see this film!!

It’s seldom we get to see authentic, complex and tactful character representations from the West Indies on the screen, especially in cinema. In her compelling and heartfelt feature film debut, Haitian filmmaker Patricia Benoit follows three Haitian immigrant families seeking refuge in Brooklyn NY from the sociopolitical upheaval surrounding them in their native country during the 1980’s.

Benoit – who also wrote the screenplay – has crafted a movingly poignant and observant film.  Stones in the Sun, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April earlier this year, just screened as part of the 3rd Annual caribBeing event at the TriBeCa theaters this past Saturday.  The finely interwoven stories – all three ultimately linked – begin with Gerald (a superb performance by Thierry Saintine), who is also at the center. He is the impassioned host of the anti-Haitian government show “Drums of the people”.  What’s fascinating about his story is that aside from his close involvement in the sociopolitical matters of his native country, he has acclimated himself to a new life in an upscale Brooklyn apartment with his pregnant, Caucasian wife. Yet, his heart and soul remains with Haiti and its people.  Their story – much like the other two – is paced just right, evoking a sense of intrigue and unpredictability. His wife listens to him daily “just to hear his voice”, since doesn’t understand/speak Creole. Their story begins to unravel when his wife welcomes Gerald’s father – to his son’s chagrin – who has unexpectedly showed up from Haiti at their doorstep.

What’s also fantastic about watching this film is how penetrable it becomes; you get the feeling that you are taking this journey alongside these characters.  Riva, played by newcomer Patricia Rhinvil in gripping film acting debut, travels to Brooklyn to join her husband, a cab driver. The story of this genuinely loving couple is endearing to watch.  In one tender scene, Riva is bathing her husband in the tub, yet she is confronted with her own psychological devastation caused by atrocities in her homeland.   One of the elements that I appreciated the most was her husband’s patience. It’s unfortunate that many of us are almost programmed to “assume” (you know the saying) how a husband would react in certain situations. A lesson of love is learned in this case. As Riva also struggles to adjust to living in the city, when we later find out the reasons behind her inner turmoil, the results are heartrending, yet inspiring.

Edwidge Danticat delivers another fine performance as Yannick, a teacher who is caught in her students’ political movement. She flees the chaos to move in with her sister in the suburbs. Micheline (a superb Michele Marceline) lives in a wealthy neighborhood with her overprotected daughter. The sisters were witnesses to tragedy and struggles growing up in their native country and Micheline, a realtor, has embraced a pretentious lifestyle of a “high class” American. Unlike Micheline, Yannick is unwilling to put her past behind and she is fervent on bringing justice to her students back at home. And, no matter how “different” these sisters’ paths in life may seem, the very convincing acting between the two actresses pave the way to some riveting and touching scenes. The tensions in their rivalry are clearly palpable, and the complexities of their differences become well understood.

Raw and understated, Stones in the Sun is handled with sensitivity in regards to its subjects. The well-developed drama has plenty of powerful performances and climactic scenes to keep you on the edge of your seat. But aside from this, hopefully you will come out of this experience with a new appreciation and respect for Haiti, its culture and the many realities its immigrants have undergone.

Stones in the river cannot know the problem of stones in the sun”. – Story Source  –     Movie Facebook Page

I don’t think the film is available to the public as of yet. There was a screening of the film on 12/1 at the Flatbush Film Festival this past Saturday at Tribeca Cinemas in New York.

Visit their Facebook   for updates and future screenings of the film.

Tribeca Film Festival 2012   Portraits #1
Carlo Mitton, Patricia Benoit, Patricia Rhinvil, Edwidge Danticat, Diana Masi, Atibon Nazaire et Nara B.K.
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Ray Banlye Broward (BCR) Disid Evalyasyon Anviwònman an Nimewo ID Pwojè Finansye Konte Broward ak Konte Miami-Dade, Florid: 452240-1

Ray Banlye Broward (BCR) Disid
Evalyasyon Anviwònman an Nimewo ID Pwojè Finansye Konte Broward ak Konte Miami-Dade, FLORID: 452240-1

Evalyasyon Anviwònman Revizyon

Konte Broward ak Depatman Transpò Laflorid (FDOT) te devlope yon Evalyasyon Anviwònman (EA) jan Administrasyon Federal Transpò (FTA) mande pou sèvis tren banlye nan Konte Broward pou asire konfòmite ak Lwa sou Règleman
Nasyonal pou Anviwònman (NEPA). Evalyasyon Anviwonman pote sou miz an plas sèvis tren banlye sou koridò ferovyè (Kot Lès Florid) depi nan estasyon pasaje yo nan vil Aventura ale nan direksyon nò rive nan jiska vil Fort Lauderdale, yon distans 18.5 kilomèt. Nouvo estasyon pasaje yo pwopoze nan Vil Hollywood, nan Ayewopò Entènasyonal Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood, ak nan Sid Fort Lauderdale.

Objektif Evalyasyon Anviwonman a se analize efè aplikasyon pwojè a sou anviwònman fizik, imen ak natirèl. Sa a se yon avi ki anonse ke yon peryòd konsiltasyon piblik 30 jou ap kòmanse 19 jiyè 2024 epi fini 18 out 2024 pou yo ka rekiyi kòmantè sou Evalyasyon Anviwonman an. Tout kòmantè ou resevwa pandan peryòd kòmantè sa a, ak repons a kòmantè sa yo, pral enkòpore nan dokiman final desizyon NEPA a. Kòmantè yo ka soumèt nenpòt lè pandan peryòd kòmantè a nan youn nan
de fason:

 Pa imèl: BCRSouth@broward.org
 Pa lapòs US: Broward County Transit, Capital Planning and Project Development Attn: Broward Commuter Rail South, 1 North University Drive, Suite 3100A, Plantation, Florida 33324

Tout kòmantè ekri yo dwe resevwa anvan 4:30 P.M. dimanch 18 out 2024. Tout moun ki enterese envite pou fè kòmantè yo.

Tanpri note ke enfòmasyon pèsonèl moun ki soumèt kòmantè yo, si yo bay yo, yo ka pibliye nan dokiman anviwònman yo ki sikile piblikman. Yon manm piblik la ka chwazi eskli enfòmasyon pèsonèl yo nan kòmantè yo.

Yon kopi elektwonik Evalyasyon Anviwonman a disponib jiska 18 out 2024 sou sit entènèt pwojè a
(www.browardcommuterrailstudy.com) an tèks klè ak fòma pdf, ak nan fòma papye nan Syèj Sosyal Broward County Transit (1 North University Drive, Suite 3100A, Plantation, Florida 33324) pandan lè travay nòmal yo. Kopi papye yo disponib tou nan biwo FTA Rejyon 4 ki nan 230 Peachtree Street, NW. Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30303, United States.

Kopi enprime Pwojè Evalyasyon Anviwonman a ap disponib tou pou revize pandan lè ouvrab regilye yo nan lokal bibliyotèk piblik Konte Broward sa yo:

-100 S Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
-1 Park Avenue East, Dania Beach, FL 33004
-2600 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, FL 33020
-300 S Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Enfòmasyon pou Kontakte:
Phil Schwab, P.E., FDOT Responsab
Pwojè Depatman Transpò Florid
3400 West Commercial Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
Telefòn: (954) 777-4524
Nimewo gratis nan (866) 336-8435, ekst. 4524 Imèl: BCRSouth@broward.org
Depatman Transpò Florid
3400 West Commercial Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
Telefòn: (954) 777-4524
Nimewo gratis nan (866) 336-8435, ekst. 4524 Imèl: BCRSouth@broward.org

Jie Bian, BCT Responsab Pwojè
Broward County Transit
1 North University Drive
Suite 3100A Plantation, Florida 33324
Telefòn: (954) 357-8532
Imèl: BCRSouth@broward.org

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