Zanj Hegel la

(Hegel’s Angel)
Canada/Haiti/USA/Italy 2018. Dir: Simone Rapisarda Casanova. 70 min. DCP

CANADIAN PREMIERE! Conceived in collaboration with alumni of the Ciné Institute, a tuition-free film school in Jacmel, Haiti where Rapisarda Casanova teaches half-time, Zanj Hegel la is another beguiling experiment in inside-out ethnography from the gifted, globetrotting director. Set and shot in southern Haiti, and imbued with the area’s Vodou and Kanaval cosmologies, Rapisarda Casanova’s shapeshifting third feature centres on Widley, a local boy from a rural village whose days drift between mundane chores and mystical reveries. He becomes fascinated with an amateur film crew, deserted mid-production by their director (Rapisarda Casanova?), as they attempt to finish their slick, Hollywood-inspired film — the antithesis to the vérité “documentary” that frames it. A clever meta-commentary on encroaching modernity and the impact of cultural imperialism (Widley watches what could be the crew’s completed movie in the film’s closing moments), Rapisarda Casanova’s latest is a generous, richly layered work of cinematic self-awareness. In Haitian with English subtitles.

Director Simone Rapisarda Casanova will be in attendance for both screenings.