Up through the cracks: Raoul Peck’s Moloch Tropical and the ghosts of Haitian history

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African American Studies


This article uses spatial metaphors that also hold political and cultural currency in Haiti as a lens through which to read Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck’s 2009 feature film Moloch Tropical’s depictions of, and reflections and comments on Haiti’s socio-political and economic structures historically and contemporarily. The article posits that the film is very much about the ghosts of unresolved histories haunting the present. Through a reading of the gradual degeneration of the principle character, Jean de Dieu Théogène’s façade of control, the article argues that Peck uses the film as a pwen to not only expose past and current Haitian leaders’ usage of violence in the maintenance of power, but warn future ones against the practice.

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