Dir/Prod Tirf Alexius, Road Mgr-Bruno Robert, Prod/Writer Remoh Romeo Photo Credit: Ludwig Borgella
Lakay tells the tale of two Haitian-American brothers who journey to the small island in search of relatives after the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. The newly-released documentary by Chicago-based Haitian-American filmmaker Tirf Alexius, was released nationwide in October.
Told form Alexius and his brother’s point of view, the film follows them as they travel to Haiti, where they ultimately realize they aren’t on just a quest to find their loved ones, but to also discover the enigma that is Haiti through the lenses of it’s resilient survivors.
Haitian Times: How does this movie speak to the Haitian-American experience?
TF: Depending where you grew up, which city, you get resistance not just from other races, but also within the black community. Haitian Americans have tried to protect themselves against that by sometimes claiming to be another ethnicity.
People say I’m Jamaican, I’m American…there’s always those types of conversations. This movie helps plow through that so you can embrace who you really are. There’s beauty in who you are. It’s a good way to move forward.
Haitian Times: What do you notice or hope viewers take away from your film?
TF: The common aspect is that people want to help. People are asking questions. During the Q&A portion of our latest screening, people were asking what can they do? And that’s what I want, people to ask, for people to be motivated. When the earthquake first happened it had everyone’s attention. Now it’s kind of falling to the back burner. I love the energy that folks in the Diaspora have. I want people to leave optimistic and feeling heavily motivated and a willingness to engage.
Haitian Times: Who is this film for? Who is the ideal audience?
TF: This film is for everyone; but if you are Haitian, this movie touches on a level that no one else can really relate to. Overall this film is about family, identity and optimism. At the end of the day, if people come out embracing who they are even more and feeling they have the power to make changes, then they are the ideal audience. We’ll be happy with that.
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