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ZANJ HEGEL LA

(HEGEL’S ANGEL)

Simone Rapisarda Casanova

Haiti/Canada/United States/Italy, 2018

70 min, Colour, Stereo

Inspired by southern Haiti’s Vodou and Kanaval cosmologies, and co-written with the entire cast and crew, Zanj Hegel La (Hegel’s Angel), is a cinematic fable challenging the boundaries between fiction, ethnography and reverie. The film follows an inquisitive boy named Widley whose life, suspended between mundane activities and foreign myths, unfolds away from the turmoil of an upcoming presidential election. As the boy wanders through an evanescent countryside, running errands for his father and paying furtive visits to a local film editor, his searching eyes become a mirror for the exotic new spell sweeping his people from one empire to another.

“Masterful [...] A richly lyrical portrait of the denizens of contemporary Haiti and their complex relationship to the outside world [...] Provocatively combines fiction and non-fiction filmmaking techniques.”

Michael G. Smith (White City Cinema)


“A clever meta-commentary on encroaching modernity and the impact of cultural imperialism [...] A generous, richly layered work of cinematic self-awareness.”

Shaun Inouye (The Cinematheque)


“Tropes on the absurdity of auteur theory [...] Deploys an aesthetics of allegory without ever succumbing to the ideological telos of allegory.”

Peter Dickinson (Anthropologica)


“Succeeds in raising questions about how one might portray a culture that is not their own [...] Allows its viewers to rethink stereotypes about Haiti and its people.”

Paige Smith (SAD Mag)


“Thought provoking [...] Inspiring us to imagine new possibilities that may be realized by transgressing conventional boundaries between fiction and ethnography.”

Dara Culhane (CIE)

 
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