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Murder in Pacot

MURDER IN PACOT (Mord in Pacot) Raoul Peck, F/HAI/N 2015, 130 min

“With masterful pacing and precise performances, Peck's film explores the fundamental questions of citizenship, responsibility, and justice that have challenged Haitian society ever since it emerged from decades of dictatorship. Murder in Pacot is riveting, complex, and a veritable tour de force.“ (TIFF 2014)

Only available for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

After the terrible January 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, an intellectual bourgeois couple struggles to reinvent a life amid the rubbles of their luxurious home.

Needing money to survive, the couple decides to rent the remaining habitable part of the villa to “Alex”, a high-level foreign relief worker. He brings with him in the house, Andrémise, an ambitious 17 years old Haitian girl of modest background. Now the couple, strained by the loss of their social position, their ideals, their dreams and desires must face this toxic intrusion.

Double-DVD: Raoul Pecks documentary FATAL ASSISTANCE (HAI/F/USA/B 2013, 100 min) is included on the DVD (s. DVD-Extras)

DIRECTOR 'S STATEMENT

After the January 12, 2010 earthquake that rocked Haiti, killing more than 250,000 people and left 1.2 million of Haitians homeless, I had two solutions, either free-fall into a spiral of limitless deception and depression, or make a film.

I chose the latter, by first shooting over a two-year period my documentary Fatal Assistance and in parallel, start working on a narrative to completely overwhelm my conflicting feelings.

I asked the great Haitian writer Lyonel Trouillot to work with me on this second story. With his particular style, simultaneously baroque, Brechtian, poetic and incisive, he was the perfect companion to delve into this emotional no man's land that my country had become. A sort of "Haiti Year Zero". We were later joined by French writer-director Pascal Bonitzer, my usual partner-in-crime.

Conceived without compromise, both in substance and in form, by writers from totally different artistic worlds, the resulting radical text was what I needed to render the iconoclastic reality of a post-disaster metropolis: a powder keg, intangible, forceful and unsalvageable.

Raoul Peck.

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Press Coverage

… (Jennifer’s) assertion that ‚the country belongs to everyone now that it’s ruined‘ is probably the moment that tips the balance in her favor, especially when Alex, who had seemed nice and harmless up to this point, turns mean, and their melancholy hosts become exploitative … ( Hollywood Reporter/02.05.2015)

The country’s foremost filmmaker Raoul Peck has delivered his verdict in a searing chamber piece, Murder In Pacot. (Screendaily / 11.02.2015)

… Pecks outlook remains angrily pessimistic: Referred to at frequent intervals, the fetid odor emanating from the couple’s basement is yet another broad metaphor for decaying national foundation. (Variety / 04.03.2015)

Murder in Pacot takes its time in building a hot, sweltering atmosphere that brims with tension and uncertainty. (cinemablographer / 07.03.2015)

Awards and Festivals