Arts & Culture

Haitian American Childhood Friends Collaborate on Short Film, The Sweetest Girl

By Onz Chery

Filmmaker Yanatha Desouvre on his laptop. Photo courtesy of Yanatha Desouvre

Although Harry Jeudy is a screenwriter, he’s not an avid reader. But he was willing to plow through a 356-page novel, “Revelations: Roads to Redemption.” Because his childhood friend, Yanatha Desouvre, wrote it.

The two have been through good and rough times together, from replacing a tire on a cold day in Philadelphia to attending friends’ weddings together and visiting L.A. to pursue their dreams. It was a no brainer for Jeudy to dive into the novel.

When the 44-year-old reached the second chapter of the novel titled “The Sweetest Girl,” he was filled with discomfort. A mother died in that chapter. Jeudy’s mother died when he was in his early 20s. Because of that discomfort, he had a burning desire to write something around that chapter.

Based on that chapter of the book, Desouvre and Jeudy wrote the screenplay of a short Haitian-American film together, “The Sweetest Girl: A Forbidden Love Story.” The best part about it is that they wrote it together.

“It’s the first time I actually wrote a screenplay with a childhood friend. Think about it, I wrote a screenplay with my childhood friend,” Jeudy said while raising his voice. “It doesn’t even matter if it’s my best work or if it’s garbage, I did it with my childhood friend.”

“Instead of finding our egos, we found our passion, we found our energy. And that—that is…”

Desouvre finished Jeudy’s sentence: “A story to tell.”

Jeudy continued: “I don’t even live around Haitians anymore. I got so far removed from my culture and I was able to come back with this other person who’s from my culture and do this story together.

“Maybe this is a bad metaphor, it’s like two lovers having a baby, having their first child together, The Sweetest Girl.”

Screenwriter Harry Jeudy. Photo courtesy of Harry Jeudy

“The Sweetest Girl” is the story of a 25-year marriage that ended sorrowfully when the husband told his wife a heart-wrenching secret on her deathbed.

The married couple will be played by an actual married couple, Genji Jacques, whom they call “Haitian Denzel” and, Sandra Justice. They’re without a doubt two of the most prominent Haitian actors in the United States.


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Onz Chery

Onz Chery

Onz Chery started his writing career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He also wrote for First Touch, Cosmopolitan Soccer League, and other local leagues. After graduating, Onz became one of ESNY's sports journalists then joined The Haitian Times.
Onz Chery
Jul. 11, 2020