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Tension at the Dinner Table in a New Clip From Raoul Peck’s ‘Murder in Pacot’

Tension at the Dinner Table in a New Clip From Raoul Peck's 'Murder in Pacot'

It made its world premiere at the 39th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)a few months ago, and is now headed to Berlin for a screening at the Berlinale in February. Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck’s latest work, titled “Murder in Pacot,” is a feature film loosely inspired by Italian director, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1968 drama/mystery “Teorema,” which starred Terence Stamp as a mysterious stranger who injects himself into the home of a wealthy Italian family, and seduces everyone in it, including the maid, which leads to each of them reaching some unique epiphany, leaving viewers (and the characters in the film) wondering who this enigmatic, nameless visitor is: Christ, or the Devil? 

Director Pasolini adapted the screenplay of “Teorema” from his own novel.
Peck’s “Murder In Pacot” is set in a plush neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, Haïti, and tells the story of an upper middle class couple struggling to rebuild their lives amid the rubbles of their luxurious home, which is now in ruins, after the earthquake, in 2010. In desperate need money, the two intellectuals decide to rent the still-standing part of their mansion to a high-level foreign relief worker of unspecified nationality. The man brings with him a beautiful 17 year old Haitian girl from a modest background, whose malevolence will eventually reveal itself.

Here’s an official synopsis, courtesy of the Berlinale: “Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010. Streets, houses and bridges have collapsed and men in white protective gear are retrieving thousands of dead bodies. A middle-class couple’s large home in Port-au-Prince has also been badly damaged. A building authority orders the owners to renovate immediately otherwise their house will be pulled down. To raise the money needed for this, the couple moves into the former servants’ quarters and rents out the only habitable room in the house to the head of an international aid organisation named Alex. But the young man is not alone. He is accompanied by a 17-year-old Haitian woman named Andrémise, who wants to change her name to Jennifer in the hope that this will help her to meet foreigners. Andrémise’s provocative and positive approach to life and love soon throws the cat among the pigeons. After his documentary Fatal Assistance Raoul Peck now takes a look at the effect of the earthquake on the country’s middle-class. Inspired by Pasolini’s classic 1968 work Teorema, Peck’s film is an intense and intimate drama about social contrasts that also poses fundamental questions about responsibility and justice in the face of catastrophe.”

Alex Descas and Nigerian-German singer Ayo (above photo) star as the couple; Thibault Vinçon is the high-level foreign relief worker; and newcomer Haitian actress Lovely Kermonde, is the young girl.
“Murder in Pacot” was written by famous novelist Lyonel Trouillot, Pascal Bonitzer and Raoul Peck. 

The film is co-produced by ARTE, the World cinema Fund (France) and the European ACP. 

It was shot in what was described as an exceptional location in Haiti: a three level Villa in a neighborhood already totally rebuilt; “A neighborhood I drove through everyday while shooting my documentary “Fatal Assistance,” is today hardly recognizable, and is the location of one of the most styled and selective Haitian hotels,” said Peck. That hotel being The Inn at Villa Bambou.

“Murder in Pacot” is a Panorama Special selection for this year’s installment of the Berlinale, one of the top movie showcases in the world.

Ahead of its Berlin premiere, a new clip from the film, featuring both couples (as played by Descas and Ayo + Thibault Vinçon and Lovely Kermonde) in the middle of an uncomfortable moment, has surfaced and is embedded below: 

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