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Moloch Tropical

Haiti/F 2009, 107 min

Peck’s searing critique of absolute power within the most elegant chamber drama.


In a fortress on a hill in Haiti a democratically elected president prepares himself for a state ceremony. On the day of the festivities the president finds his country in turmoil. The whole nation is in the grips of a riot that has broken out overnight. But nothing should stop the president’s ceremony.


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Language: Kreol, French, English, Subtitles: German

Awards and Festivals

- Toronto International Film Festival, Special Presentation, 2009
- Festival Cinéma et Politique de Tours, France, 2009
- International Film Festival of Kerala, 2009
- Dubai International Film Festival, 2009
- MoMA – The Contenders, 2010
- Berlinale, Berlinale Special, 2010
- CinemAfrica, Stockholm, 2010
- Miami International Film Festival, 2010
- Milano Africano Film Festival, 2010 (Signis prize of World Catholic Association for Communication)
- Human Rights Watch Film Festival, London, 2010
- Diversciné, Ottawa, 2010
- Istanbul International Film Festival, 2010
- Tribeca International Film Festival, 2010
- Sydney International Film Festival, International competition, 2010

Additional Texts

Raoul Peck about MOLOCH TROPICAL

With this film I wanted to explore the often hidden side of power. No doubt, an occasion for me to revisit my own political experiences in Haiti and elsewhere. What’s the final day like for a man with unrestrained power, whose supremacy has never been challenged, who is now plunging dizzyingly into a black hole of events he cannot control?

I wanted to explore what happens behind closed doors, during a tragic and unruly “Farewell to Arms”, when everything becomes possible and irretrievable at the same time? Redemption as well as demise. During these minute gaps in History, a person reveals crudely his true essence, his fears, and his desires – given that there is no time left for craftiness. We might even see a little bit of ourselves in these characters. With this film, I also wanted to return to my country. I wanted to re-examine, with a Shakespearian perspective, the tragic and foolish nonsense of the past 60 years of upheaval. A battle for “democracy” which took no prisoner. Nowhere else but in Haiti has reality generated so much confusion and so many contradictions.

We chose to shoot Moloch Tropical in a unique location, the Citadelle Henry, built by King Henry Christophe at the beginning of the 19th Century atop a steep mountain. With a size of approximately 100,000 square feet, it is the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps, more importantly it is the indestructible symbol of the only nation in human history that was created by victorious slaves. The single and unique time in which the trail of slavery which began in Gorée Island (another symbol) was permanently broken.
But at what cost?


Raoul Peck
Raoul Peck, Jean-René Lemoine
Zinedine Soualem, Sonia Rolland, Mireille Metellus, Nicole Dogue
Director of Photography
Eric Guichard
Martine Barraqué
Alexei Aigui
Raoul Peck
Produced by
Velvet Film


Making Of (7 min), Interview with Raoul Peck (6 min)
Kreol, French, English
German, English, French, Spanish
Country Code
NTSC / Color
107 min + 13 min Extras
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
DD 2.0
Softbox (Set Content: 1), Booklet
Release date
From 16 Years