"This is a terrific extrapolation of a small story into a broader narrative of the insidious nature of corruption. It’s well- assembled as an essay film rather than as a more-straightforward piece of journalism." - Jamie Gonçalves (True/False Festival)
New York, NY (PRWEB) March 27, 2016
Monsieur Le Président traces the ascent and downfall of Gaston Jean Edy, a charming and much-loved voodoo priest in the Christ-roi section of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Victoria had gone to help translate for the doctors and a week after the earthquake met this charismatic, extraordinary man. His response to the earthquake was to resurrect a defunct neighborhood clinic and set an admirable example of ingenuity and self-reliance in the face of government corruption. She spent 3 years returning to film in Haiti and became close friends with Gaston. The film charts their friendship and the strange, sad turn it takes when Gaston absconds with foreign donations and seems to have transformed into an entirely different man -- or has been "summoned by an evil spirit," as some of the neighborhood people claim. The film is seemingly one of betrayal and corruption, yet upon closer examination it is about the act of forgetting and the consequences of such an act, within the immediate community and globally.
As a documentary director, Victoria Campbell immerses herself into a character's life, often outliers and outsiders. The form of her subjects' realities dictates the structure of the films she creates. Documentaries rarely have a set outcome, but in the case of a Victoria Campbell film, the viewer does not know what twists and turns the story will take and neither does she. This makes it an honest portrayal of a story in the life of an otherwise forgotten soul or story.
Campbell often features in her own films in order to get close to the people who pique her interest. She does not pretend that the relationship is tidy, or that of a fly-on-the-wall filmmaker. Even if she does not enjoy being on camera, it has been the most honest way to discover stories as they happen. There is a trust that builds when the director exposes herself alongside the main character. The relationships she forms with the characters are often pivotal revealers of who they are and how things shift and change in the environment of the film.
Screening of the documentary Monsieur Le Président
IFC Theater West Village
323 Avenue of The Americas
Tuesday April 5th
"A touchingly beautiful film that provides much needed insight into charity, development work, and the outsider experience in Haiti" - Amy Wilentz
author of 'The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier' and 'Farewell Fred Voodoo'.
Director Victoria Campbell and author and Haiti specialist Amy Wilentz will hold a Q & A session immediately following the screening.
Amy Wilentz is an expert of Haiti and the complexities of a a proud nation that received international attention in 2010 when it was struck by a catastrophic magnitude 7.O earthquake.
Monsieur Le was put in the prestigious viewfinders of DOCNYC festival- only 10 films are chosen for their unique visions as emerging filmmakers. Victoria's HOUSE OF BONES won best documentary at Irish International Film Festival in Tipperary Ireland in 2011.
Victoria Campbell holds an MFA in social documentary film from the School of Visual Arts. She is a recipient of the 2011 SVA Alumnae Award Scholarship. Her next project is titled "Dimitry", an insightful journey into the life of a complex Ukrainian transgender who lives with his father in Brooklyn, New York.
Victoria Campbell is represented by Malena Belafonte for this screening. Malena Belafonte is the owner of Pink Pirate Agency and co-founder of The Speyer Legacy School.