Members of "Vakans" movie cast during a jam session. Photo via: Stream With BigO

CAP-HAITIEN — When Rony Jean-Luc, a Delmas resident, saw Michel Martelly’s sons on the poster of a new Haitian movie on Twitter earlier this month, he instantly thought about all the money the former president allegedly pocketed and did not use to improve Haiti. 

“When we hear Martelly, we think of corruption,” Jean-Luc, 34, said. “My mother used to tell me if you steal, the family will lose its reputation. The children will feel that shame. [So] I don’t want to know what’s in this movie. I don’t want people to tell me what this movie is about.”

“Vakans” premiered at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami Feb. 6 and was later made available on Stream With BigO, a streaming service also tied to the Martelly name. Scores of Haitians have since denounced the movie because it features Martelly’s sons — singers Yani, Olivier and Michel-Alexandre ‘Sandro’ Martelly.

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.