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?
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.”
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: