Raoul Peck (French/Belgian/Haitian/German co-production, 2000, 115 minutes)

Lumumba is a gripping political thriller that tells the story of the legendary African leader Patrice Emery Lumumba. The brilliant and charismatic Lumumba rose rapidly to the office of Prime Minister when Belgium conceded the Congo’s independence in June 1960.The full details behind Lumumba’s brutal death in 1961, a mere nine months after becoming the country’s first prime minister, recently became known and are accurately dramatized in fictional form for the first time in Lumumba.

Raoul Peck was born in Haiti in 1953, educated in Haiti, Zaire (Congo), and France, studied engineering and economics at Berlin University, worked as a journalist and photographer from and received his film degree from the Berlin Academy of Film and Television in 1988. Peck explored the horrors of the Duvalier dictatorship in Man by the Shore (the first Haitian film invited in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and which was screened at the St Barth Film Festival in 1996), and in his documentary Haiti: Silence of the Dogs. In Lumumba: Death of a Prophet and Chère Catherine—a meditation about his final months as Haiti’s Minister of Culture—Peck takes a personal approach to questions of history, in contrast to his more starkly political films. In 1994 Peck was awarded the Nestor Almendros Prize by the Human Rights Watch in New York.

Director Raoul Peck
Screenplay Raoul Peck & Pascal Bonitzer
Cast Eriq Ebouaney, Alex Descas, Maka Kotto, Théophile Moussa Sowié, Dieudonné Kabongo Bashila, Pascal Nzonzi, André Debaar, Cheik Doukouré, Oumar Diop Makena, Mariam Kaba, Rudi Delhem
Cinematography Bernard Lutic
Producer Jacques Bidou, Diana Elbaum, Philippe Bober, Raoul Peck, Richard Boidin, Georges Goldenstern, Arlette Zylberberg
Music Jean-Claude Petit
Production JBA Production
Length 115 minutes
Year 2000 France/Belgium/Haiti/Germany

Lista de Espera / Liste d’attente / Waiting List
Juan Carlos Tabio (France/Spain/Germany, 2000, 106 minutes)

A bus terminal in a small Cuban city. Dozens of passengers wait for the bus to come and occupy the few seats that will become available. Disorder and chaos reign when the bus breaks down and cannot leave. Forced to spend the night together and perhaps the next days, everyone tries to come up with solutions, revealing the human being’s ability to overcome the toughest circumstances with generosity and solidarity.

Juan Carlos Tabío has been associated with most of the major Cuban movies of recent years; he co-directed Strawberry and Chocolate and Guantanamera, with the late, great Tomás Gutiérrez Alea. Lista De Espera (Waiting List), is his third solo feature after Se Permuta in 1984, Plaff in 1988 and Elephant and the Bicycle in 1995.

Director Juan Carlos Tabio
Screenplay Juan Carlos Tabio, Arturo Arango and Senel Paz
Cast Vladimir Cruz, Thaimi Avariño, Jorge Perugorría, Saturnino García
Producer Gerardo Herrero, Camilo Vives, Jorge Sánchez, Thierry Forte
Production Tornasol Films/ICAIC/Amaranta/ DMVB
Length 106 minutes
Year 2000 France/Spain/Germany

Woman on Top
Fina Torres (USA, 2000, 83 minutes)

Set to the intoxicating rhythms of Brazil, Woman on Top is a spicy, sexy comedy about the magic of food, love and music. Isabella (Penelope Cruz) and Toninho (Murilo Benicio) are blissfully happy living in a port city in Bahia, on the northeast coast of Brazil. Isabella loves Toninho madly, and she stirs his passions with meals that she has learned to cook with native spices, natural herbs, local ingredients and a magic all her own that turns them into extraordinary gifts to the senses.

Fina Torres was born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1951. She studied cinematography at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques in Paris, while working as a newspaper photographer. Her short films include Un Largo Viaje and Veronique Sanson, while her first feature film, Oriana, won the 1985 Camera D’Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Her second feature, Celestial Clockwork, was seen as an avant-premiere at the first annual St. Barth Film Festival in 1996. Woman On Top is her third feature film.

Director Fina Torres
Screenplay Vera Blasi
Cast Penelope Cruz, Murilo Benicio, Harold Perrineau Jr., Mark Feuerstein, John de Lancie
Cinematography Thierry Arbogast
Producer Alan Poul
Music Luis Bacalov
Production Fox Searchlight
Length 83 minutes
Year 2000 USA

Jimmy Cliff: Bongo Man
Stefan Paul (Germany/Jamaica, 1981, 95 minutes)

Reggae fans rejoice! Jamaican reggae pioneer Jimmy Cliff is featured in Bongo Man, a film that tells the story of Jimmy Cliff, the “Gentle Rebel” who stirred a nation with his music and espoused the virtue of peace with his reggae compositions. Cliff has written some of the world’s best-known reggae standards, including “Many Rivers To Cross,” “You Can Get It, If You Really Want” and “Harder They Come.” The Harder They Come is also the name of the 1973 film in which Cliff sang and starred, producing a soundtrack that is one of the best selling reggae records of all time. Bongo Man includes concert footage in Jamaica, Brazil, Soweto and Montreux.

Stefan Paul heads the film distribution arm of Arsenal Filmproduction in Tübigen, Germany. Stefan has managed art cinemas in Tübingen and Liepzig since 1974. He is also a free-lance writer and director for German Television. His film on Bob Marley was screened at the St Barth Film Festival last year.

Director Stefan Paul
Cast Jimmy Cliff
Producer Stefan Paul
Music Jimmy Cliff
Production Arsenal Film Kino
Length 95 minutes
Year 1981 Germany /Jamaica

Cuba Feliz
Karim Dridi (France, 1999, 96 minutes)

The title Cuba Feliz is taken from a song by Armandito Machado, one of 22 in the film, nearly all of which are sung by Miguel Del Morales, better known as El Gallo (“the rooster”). Originally, director Karim Dridi planned to use Del Morales only for two or three days of shooting in Cienfuegos and Trinidad. However, the 76-year-old vagabond-troubadour proved to be such an asset — he knows scores of Cuban songs and sings them with a lilt in his voice that speaks of joy and suffering — that Dridi and his screenwriter Pascal Letellier, a noted authority on Cuban music, decided to take him with them on this “road movie musical” across the length and breadth of Cuba. Selected for the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes in 2000.

Karim Dridi was born in 1961. Karin directed seven shorts, before completing his first feature, Pigalle, which premeired at Venice in 1994. His subsequent film, Bye-Bye (1995), was chosen for Un Certain Regard at Cannes, Hors Jeu (1998) at Locarno and Cuba Feliz, his fourth film, appeared in the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes (2000). In addition, he has made a number of documentaries for Arte, including Citizen Ken Loach (1997) and An Impression Of South Africa (1996).

Director Karim Dridi
Screenplay Pascal Letellier and Karim Dridi
Cast and Music Miguel del Morales (El Gallo), Pepin Vaillant, Mirta Gonzales, Anibal Avila, Alberto Pablo
Cinematography Karim Dridi
Producers Jacques Debs, Alain Rozanès, Pascal Verroust
Production ADR Productions
Length 96 minutes
Year 1999 France

Pascal Légitimus (France, 2000, 104 minutes)

Lucia Sainte Rose is kidnapped in Paris. Her husband, the mayor of Marie-Galante, is surprised to learn that he cannot recover his wife except in trade for a parcel of land that is slated for development. Gertrude Boisec, a friend of the family, mobilizes the entire West Indian community in Paris to help save the Sainte Rose family. But only three days remain before the signing of the contract.

Pascal Légitimus, born in 1959, is the son of actor Théo Légitimus and grandson of the late actress Darling Légitimus (Sugar Cane Alley). He is part of the highly successful comedy group, the “Inconnus” with Bernard Campan and Didier Bourdon, and has appeared in several French films. His first film, a documentary about his grandmother, was made in 1996, and won prizes at several festivals. In 1997, he made a second award-winning short, Abus de Méfiance. Antilles-sur-Seine is his first feature.

Med Hondo was born in Mauritania in 1936. He has lived in France for many years and is an active member of the community of African Diaspora filmmakers. His first film was the short Soleil-O (1969), followed by Les Bicots Nègres Vos Voisins (1975) which won first prize at the Days of Carthage Festival. His other films include Nous aurons toute la mort pour dormir (1977), Lumière Noire (1994) and West Indies (1978) which was screened at the St Barth Film Festival in 1999.

Théo Légitimus is the son of the late actress Darling Légitimus and the father of actor/director Pascal Légitimus. Born in Paris in 1929, he first appeared in the film Bouboule 1er Roi Negre in 1933, as a babe in his mother’s arms. He has seen been since in over 35 films and has worked with such actors and directors as Sacha Guitry, Arlette (Les Perles de la Couronne), Bernard Blier (Avant le déluge), Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret (La vie devant soi), Raul Ruiz (Les trois couronnes du matelots), Josiane Balasko, et Thierry L’hermitte (Nuits d’ivresse). He has also appeared in numerous theatrical productions, and in various radio and television projects.

Director Pascal Légitimus
Screenplay Barbara Constantine
Cast Med Hondo, Thierry Desroses, Edouard Montoute, Chantal Lauby, Theo Légitimus
Cinematography William Watterlot
Music Pascal Légitimus, Jean-Jacques Sage
Producer Claude Zidi
Production TF1 Films Productions,
Length 104 minutes
Year 2000 France


Blue Mist
Stanislas Defize (St Barth, Belgium, 2000, 62 minutes)

A powerful interior journey, as well as a beautiful travelogue aboard a sailboat from St. Barthélemy to Polynesia. Painter Stanislas Defize’s first film chronicles the trip that he made with two friends, Michel and “Manolo,” 18 years after the three of them first arrived in St Barth by boat. An emotional farewell to the island that was his home for nearly two decades.

Stanislas Defize is a painter who now lives in Brussels after almost two deades of living in St Barthelemy. His watercolors capture the architectural iconography of the island, in captivating colors and intruiging compositions. Blue Mist is his first film. During the festival this year, he is also working with a group of students at College Mireille Choisy to make their first film.

Producer and Director Stanislas Defize