By Vania Andre

Two years after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, filmmakers Raynald Leconte and Eve Blouin headed to the small island nation to begin documenting the lives of some of Haiti’s most inspirational living artists. Central to their journey of exploration was the artistic and philosophical movement of spiralism. Now, nearly four years since their project’s inception, “In the Eye of the Spiral” has won best feature documentary at the Big Apple Film Festival on Nov. 9. The film is narrated by Annie Lenox and was shot using an all Haitian film crew.

“In the Eye of the Spiral shows a new side of Haiti through the fascinating voices of some of its most successful native artists,” Leconte, who worked as a producer on the film, said. A great dichotomy is shown in the film between the state of a country hit by corruption and natural disaster and the incredible will of Haitian artists, who find creativity out of the country’s chaos.

Raynald Leconte and Eve Blouin

“Chaos is everything and is present in all things,” artist Franketiene said. The renowned painter and philosopher is featured in the documentary and is founder of the spiralist movement, which sees creation as an inevitable byproduct of chaos.

I am convinced what makes this movie special is that people from different backgrounds will be able to understand, Blouin said in a 2012 interview. Those who have this kind of sensitivity and emotional intelligence will search in a very hidden part of their heart and will be able to understand what we are trying to convey in this film.

Eye of the Spiral is the first in a planned series of documentary films showcasing the “aesthetics and history” of developing countries. Next in line for Leconte and Blouin, “another enigmatic Central American nation.”

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