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Poet, novelist, journalist, activist, ethnologist, and cultural attache Jacques Roumain inspired the people of his native Haiti, but he also made enough enemies that his premature death in 1944 still intrigues conspiracy theorists. Born into wealth, Roumain embraced class struggle: he opposed the American occupation of Haiti, founded the country's Communist Party, worked against the fascist movement in France, and documented oppression of the poor in Batista's Cuba. A life as fascinating as his deserves better treatment than this 2008 video by Haitian director Arnold Antonin: the archival material and historical re-creations are all tinted a monotonous sepia, and the English narration and voice-overs are so heavily accented and cadenced that the narrative is difficult to follow. In English and subtitled French, Creole, and Spanish. 115 min.

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