Search - Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution on DVD

Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution
Egalite for All Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution
Actor: n/a
Director: Sujewa Ekanayake
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary, African American Cinema
NR     2009     1hr 0min

The Haitian Revolution represents the only successful slave revolution in history; it created the world's first Black republic --- traumatizing Southern planters, inspiring U.S. Blacks, and invigorating anti-slavery activi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: n/a
Director: Sujewa Ekanayake
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Television, Educational, History, African American Cinema
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/17/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Strange Bedfellows
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 05/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like many African Americans, I knew that Louverture led the first Black independent nation, but my knowledge ends there. Perhaps a Haitian citizen would be bored by this, but I was excited to learn more facts about this important event.

Too often, even in historical narratives, lines are clearly drawn and parties can be divided into clearly good or bad. This history presents things as much more complicated. At times, white French didn't want to include Blacks under their Revolution-based ideas about equality. At other times, the French supported Haitian freedom under revolutionary ideas. In the US, biracial individuals historically have been deemed Black and assumed to have loyalties with that community. This documentary suggested that the mixed-race Haitian population were more loyal to the white community.

Along these complicated lines, Louverture is not presented as a modern-day militant. He seemed to be free and not at the bottom ranks of Haitian society. When the revolt began, he helped to ensure the whites in his birth town remained safe. After gaining some freedoms, he saw no other path but for Blacks to return to planting sugar cane. I once read that the Haitian flag is just the French one with the white portion ripped out, in a militant fashion. However, this work doesn't portray the leader in a Mau-Mau manner.

I'm used to modern militants taking their fashion queues from Africa. I try to rock kente cloth and all that too. However, Louverture dressed like Marcus Garvey who dressed like Napoleon, in standard European garb.

The documentary had diverse interviewees: Blacks and whites, men and women, Americans and Haitians. One interviewee spoke French, but I was surprised that no one was interviewed speaking Haitian Creole. One interviewee had a nice chin dimple. Another had a nose like rapper KRS-One. Another had ears like those of Victor Garber. The reenactments were done well too. The clothes and setting seemed quite authentic. There are great paintings from the era as well (the realist school?). At times, the documentary expanded two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional ones, possibly using techniques from animation.

The conclusive message from the documentary said something like, "Haiti was in turmoil then and that turmoil and danger continues to this day." This may not make some Haitian viewers happy."
Haitian Revolution - Say What?
Thomas K. Walsh | Phoenix, AZ | 01/31/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is interesting that information about the Haitain Revolution is finally being made available. Toussaint Louverture was only one player in that history and more of the narrative needs to be told. It is a story of slavery to freedom to slavery. We also need to see the global implications of the only successful slave revolution in history."
Not the sanitized version I have read before
Hannahzarah Avarraschild | Burlington, VT United States | 10/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As an education experience, I enjoyed this film very much. As a person who has studied Vodou and Santeria I have studied a much more sanitized and simplistic version of Haitian history. This film was much more balanced and seems to have presented things as they were. The revolution was a human victory but like most revolutions was bloody in the event and aftermath and that was presented in this DVD."