“It’s in each of us. It’s our own interpretation.”
On Monday, November 7 at 7:00pm, a screening of La Belle Vie took place at the Knickerbocker theater. It was followed by a Q and A with the filmmakers, Rachelle Salnave and Jean H. Marcelin. Nearly 200 people attended the event, consisting of community members and Hope students and faculty.
In a catchy and artistic documentary, Rachelle captures the identity struggle she and others face as members of the Haitian diaspora. Feeling disconnected from her cultural identity, she travels to Haiti and finds her roots by examining the complex society. The documentary also explores the political instability of the country, the earthquake and its effects, education, poverty, and the role the diaspora plays in present day Haiti. This documentary was fun and full of life with captivating images put together in an interesting collage that well-represented the culture. It primarily explores the idea of La Belle Vie, or the good life, and different perspectives of this parallel to the American Dream. Rachelle Salnave and Edwidge Danticat both share their personal experiences and stories and how their identity is tied to the culture of Haiti. The documentary and the book share an interesting symmetry of cultural identity and the struggles Haitians have faced in this complex and beautiful country.
By Kaley Obney