Chavez and Danny Glover on Toussaint Louverture Film Project

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Venezuela giving Danny Glover $18m to direct film on Toussaint Louverture led slave revolt

Chavez hopes venture will aid anti-imperialist fight

Actor wants to educate US on Toussaint Louverture

Venezuela is to give the American actor Danny Glover almost $18m (£9m) to make a film about a slave uprising in Haiti, with President Hugo Chavez hoping the historical epic will sprinkle Hollywood stardust on his effort to mobilise world public opinion against imperialism and western oppression.

The Venezuelan congress said it would use the proceeds from a recent bond sale with Argentina to finance Glover’s biopic of Toussaint Louverture, an iconic figure in the Caribbean who led an 18th-century revolt in Haiti.

It will also give seed money for a film version of The General in His Labyrinth, Gabriel Garc­a Marquez’s novel about the last days of Simon Bolivar, who liberated much of South America from Spanish colonialism.

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The project could mark a breakthrough for Villa del Cine, a new government-funded studio outside the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, which is part of Mr Chavez’s effort to combat what he sees as American cultural hegemony.

Glover, who visited Caracas at the weekend, told the Guardian that he would direct the film, titled Toussaint. “It’s so advanced that you can taste it. We’ve scouted locations within 75km [45 miles] of Caracas. I can do everything I need to do with this film from here.” He said he had been in talks with the government, but was unaware that a decision had been made until journalists tipped him off about the congress’s announcement. “That’s the first I’ve heard of it,” he said.

He suggested that there was still some uncertainty over whether the venture would go ahead. “One of the major axioms in theatre is never talk about anything until the deal is signed. There’s a lot of deliberation that goes on before something actually happens.”

It appeared that the congress timed the announcement to coincide with a media conference in Caracas hosted by the television network Telesur, a Venezuela-funded regional answer to CNN. Glover is on the board.

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Toussaint Louverture is a towering figure in the region’s history. A freed slave of African descent, he led thousands of slaves in successful campaigns against British, Spanish and French troops before being betrayed, captured and exiled. He died in 1803, just before his followers succeeded in establishing the island’s independence. William Wordsworth wrote a sonnet about him.

Glover said he wanted to educate the US about the story. “It’s been essentially wiped out of our historic memory, it’s been wiped clean.”

The actor is chairman of the TransAfrica Forum, an advocacy group for African Americans and other members of Africa’s diaspora, and a vocal critic of the Bush administration. Along with the singer Harry Belafonte, Glover is the best known celebrity supporter of Mr Chávez, whom he considers “remarkable”. He is a regular visitor to Venezuela.

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More @:http://film.guardian.co.uk/print/0,,329883684-3156,00.html

Guardian Unlimited


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33 thoughts on “Chavez and Danny Glover on Toussaint Louverture Film Project”

  1. Toussaint L’Ouverture is perhaps the greatest military genius every to operate in the Western Hemisphere. Why in all creation was a white woman used to write the screenplay for this film?–http://www.louverturefilms.com/ss/about_us. I do not want to see no film about this incredible Black man written by no white man or woman. They cannot give it the treatment it deserves. Oh, wait a minute, I know why Joslyn Barnes got to write the screenplay. She is co-founder of Louverture Films with Danny Glover. Perhaps before it is to late we are going to learn we cannot partner with whites and think we will thereafter produce something that is Black through and through. The Black person in that situation always compromises his or her vision. I would love to see a film about L’Ouverture but I will not go see this one because I am lactose intolerant.

  2. First of all I would like to say a big thanks to Mr.Chavez who for the sake of fredom, liberty and justice did not consider it a robery to be equal in courage to T. Louverture himself, to M. L. King Jr., to Malcom X and so on in order to make his voice heard as a deffensor of these precious gifts that God ever bestowed to mankind. Mr Chavez, you are a SAINT Sr.
    Second, another Thanks goes to Mr. Glover for taking on such a noble task to reintroduce the name of This great military genious to the citizens of this hungry for knowledge world.
    Mr. Glover, I want you to know with all the respect Sr. that the wiping out of the the name of Toussaint Louverture of the world history is intentional. Alexander the Great is remembered, Winston Churchill is remembered, Napoleon Bonaparte is remembered, Ronald Reagan is Remembered, even Adolph Hitler is remembered. Two major reasons why the name of Toussaint Louverture is neglected are because he was BLACK (a black geniou) and the issu of slavery is not over yet.

  3. Jamal, you are absolutely right.
    Toussaint Louverture’s story is unique.
    Where would a black man be without this great man.
    It will take someone with a special connection to Haiti, its history and and the people to authentically write this story.
    Anyone can write a screenplay for Hollywood. But Toussaint, Dessalinnes, Boukmann, Cecile Fatima etc… were the first slaves to not only rise but succeded in gaining their independence. Therefore, it must be told right.
    Danny Glover did not even consider casting Haitian actors for some of the leading roles or shooting part of the movie in Haiti where it all happened.
    I am sure he will cast a few Haitians as extras.
    More power to you.

  4. Mr. Jamal,
    I wish Mr. Glover luck in producing this movie, I heard it has been twenty years since he’s been trying. Publicity is definitely good for Louverture Films.
    I hope Danny doesn’t spend Chavez’s money on coffee and donuts. One thing Mr. Glover needs to know about Haiti is that when stories are being told about these great Haitian warriors/freedom fighters there are emotional and spiritual feelings involved.
    Mr. Glover should ask authorization to put the life of this great warrior on the big screen.
    Even though I was born and raised in the US, I still get goose-bumps when I hear these stories. Why? Because of my ties to their struggles. I’ve gotten lots of feedbacks from people and different articles about this story, it is good that Danny is making this film about Toussaint but is it
    a business deal with Venezuela, or will Mr. Glover have enough guts to tell the story like it really happened.
    We just have to wait and see.

  5. hi danny my name is jean p faiteau that was my dream to play movie with you because i realy love your movie i am haitian

  6. Dear Mr. Chavez, Mr. Glover and all others involved in this produkkkshun:

    How dare you do this to us? Mr. glover you have played a child molester in 2 movies and now you live to molest the good Haitian people too. You are literally living out the role you played in the Charles Burnett film where you depicted the devil. You are Petion incarnate in black face with an African American ethnicity. You are selling us to the same people who hundreds of years ago compelled us to go fight (10,000 just like Jah’s armies in the bible) for your causes and your advancement by breaking our backs and spirits. How dare you people use us and abuse us like this again?
    I call on all the African ancestors, the Petro and Rada spirits to deal with this misdirected produkkk-shun by showing some justice for the good Haitian people.
    It is obvious to me that you are not aiming this at a Haitian audience or to even reinforce the Haitian agenda. Rather Mr. Glover seeks to kkkapitalize on our pain by replacing the Haitians with African Americans and white faces. This is minstrelsy at work a 100%! How dare you? We did not forget this side of our story, you and your kind did and you should be directing your movie at those who willingly choose to e-race this story from their minds and hearts every day when they trample on the poor Haitians in their mists. In places like South Florida and Boston and Massachussetts to name a few where we are shunned, mistreated, abused and ostricized like lepers. You need to remind them of our contributions to their good ole nation States-United Snakes of Amerikkka. You need to remind your kind that Nat Turner, was inspired and darn right influenced by the Haitian Revolution when he organized his revolt. You need to remind your kind who they are victimizing every day in their neighborhoods, schools, public transportation, social network places, medical and professional establishments, jails and prisons.

    That’s what you should be doing, a documentary of the victimization of the Haitian by the hands of African Americans and other ethnic blacks throughout the so-called New World and Europe and Africa for that matter. You need to document how the Haitian Revolution and its success marked us for life around the globe. In fact, that would be a worthwhile endeavor. That would guarantee your place in the Righteous elders hall of fame. Instead, you choose to go the cowardly route and bow down to Hollywood and white supremacy. Shameful. I had hoped that mingling with so many blacks involved in social movements around the globe would have enlightened you. I guess it hasn’t.

    I plan to continue my protest of this produkkkshun because I feel that it seeks to justify a racist agenda aimed directly at eradicating the Haitian presence in Western society. `You seem to wanna say that we are not needed and you folks can do the job. Let me ask you, how would you represent the pain and heartache and suffering that we’ve survived and put up with for the past 200+ years? Haven’t you learned anything from your friends in the Haitian intelligentsia. I know that Aristide has talked to you about the rights of the downtrodden and wretched. But I should have realized that you to are choosing to ride along with the wagon of domestic war on terror. You are choosing to rob us of our birthright just like your righeteous cousins are robbing you of yours and mine. so my kind is being robbed over and over by people like you with a few bucks and some power.
    Do the right thing mister. Let Raoul Peck or some other Haitian director do this work. What do you know about this hero and the Haitian Revolution? Can you really feel it?
    This movie will not get the results that you seek. And Chavez will experience another defeat. He cannot ride on the backs of Haitians to fund his elitist movement. Just like his hero, Simon Bolivar who promised to free all blacks throughout Latin America when Petion gave him all those thousands of Haitian soldiers to fight against the Spanish you both have renigged on your promised to be righteous and to respect the Haitian people.
    Down with you and your cause. I hope that you rot in hell!

    1. First of all Hemptress,
      I think you are way over reacting and out of touch with reality. The people of Haiti know the story of Toussaint. So to target the Haitian people would be preaching to the choir. As for using Haitian actors, how many people do you really think would come out to see a non recognized Haitian actor? Not me and that is even if the movie was about me. The point of this film about Toussaint is to reach the masses, educate as many people as you can. And your not going to do that with any random Haitian actor. I think you need to calm down because you are not being rational and your embarrassing me as a Haitian. I also took notice how you mentioned Africa in your ranting. Did you know the role Africa played in slavery? Yeah, slavery was an inside job my friend. You were foolish enough to add Mr. Glover played a child molester in two movies that was just plain, well there isn’t a nice way of putting it; it was just “FN” stupid. Before you say anything out of anger, I strongly suggest you take a deep breath, count to 20 and shut the “F” up. I don’t know about you but I’ll be damned in anyone think they can mistreat me because I am Haitian. If your week enough to let someone put you down because your Haitian, then you are a weak link and you are no good to Haiti. Although I do have my cons about Mr. Glovers plans on the Toussaint film project and it is because it does not involve filming in Haiti were it could help a great number of people. But at the end of the day I wish the movie hits its target reach, teach and give Toussaint a place in history so his name and great accomplishment can echo though time.

  7. People, People, People, get a GRIP. Can anyone please tell me the last film or documentary that has been presented on this subject, has there ever been a feature length strip to tackle this great story??? Get a grip, things are moving in a very positive way. There are A-List actors attached to this project, that is an amazing accomplishment in itself. The name of the game is to present a compelling story, with actors who can first of all carry a great story and second of bring people to the box office. If you do not have a great story and bankable actors, it’s tough to get a studio and or private investors to give you a penny to make a movie, let alone make a movie based on a African Leader, who defeated emperor forces of the time. Get a grip people, do you really know whats at stake. This is a great first step towards developing a relationship to have other great stories perserved and told for our children and for the world to be educated on our great leaders. Mr. Glover and his fellow film makers could have tackled other subject matter such as: Growing poor in the hood, Gang violence, The Pimp Diaries, Baby Mamma Drama, etc. If they had done such a thing, everyone would be saying, why didn’t they do a movie on something like Toussaint, or Hannable, or Black Wall Street. Jamal, my brother, can you honestly say there has not been a non-black person, that has ever assisted or helped in our development. Please, Please, Please get a grip, let’s support the process and offer feedback to uplift the project and the people supporting the efforts to get the story told.

  8. People, People, People, get a GRIP. Can anyone please tell me the last film or documentary that has been presented on this subject, has there ever been a feature length strip to tackle this great story??? Get a grip, things are moving in a very positive way. There are A-List actors attached to this project, that is an amazing accomplishment in itself. The name of the game is to present a compelling story, with actors who can first of all carry a great story and second of bring people to the box office. If you do not have a great story and bankable actors, it’s tough to get a studio and or private investors to give you a penny to make a movie, let alone make a movie based on a African Leader, who defeated emperor forces of the time. Get a grip people, do you really know whats at stake. This is a great first step towards developing a relationship to have other great stories perserved and told for our children and for the world to be educated on our great leaders. Mr. Glover and his fellow film makers could have tackled other subject matter such as: Growing poor in the hood, Gang violence, The Pimp Diaries, Baby Mamma Drama, etc. If they had done such a thing, everyone would be saying, why didn’t they do a movie on something like Toussaint, or Hannable, or Black Wall Street. Jamal, my brother, can you honestly say there has not been a non-black person, that has ever assisted or helped in our development. Please, Please, Please get a grip, let’s support the process and offer feedback to uplift the project and the people supporting the efforts to get the story told.

    Hemptress, your comments are very heart felt. Haitians, as well as other great people of African descent have all suffer in the Western Hemisphere and no one story is greater or lessor then the other, we should all be in this together, to get our story told. The people involved with this project are professional film makers, I have had the privilege to see a draft of the script, I think you will be pleased. I hope your feeling about the Produkkkshun is not solely based on the fact African-Americans are leading the way to get the story told, versus a team of Haitian film makers. Maybe you should then put together a group of Haitian brothers and sisters and tell the story of Nat Turner. I don’t think, I would be as offended as you are about those facts. I would be reaching out and appaulding your efforts and honestly, I would be honored, that my Haitian Brothers and sisters had that much respect to tell the story.

    Get A Grip People, Let’s get the Movie Done

  9. Congrats to Mr. Glover On such a Heavy task, lets wait and see Toussaint was a brilliant leader , my only concern is that there should be more actors and directors involve in this project such Raoul Peck, Carl Andy Louis, Jimmy Jean Louis, Gabriel Casseus, just to name a few.

  10. look we blacks are ass holes so many of us are rich. Forinstance jordan, pele, ali ,johnson and some rich haitians like aristide, baby doc and many more filthy rich niggers that could produce this movie, why did danny have to go beg chavez we after all these years we still begging and slaves what a shame we are nothing without others, moreless the white man. shame on toussaint f…. him he also had slaves so was H. christophe he killed slaves too. niggas will always be niggas.

    1. zotobre chabrac granneg
      your vocabulary is very limited and your facts are even more. Your entitled to your own opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts. Based on your limited vocabulary it would be fitting for you present Baby Doc in a topic like this. Next time you have something to contribute to a conversation , I suggest you also hold your breath for a 20 count and shut “F” up.

  11. zotobre;
    H.I.M teaches us that each man can do unlimited things when he understands the language and culture of his host land. Don’t despise your brother for doing hard work for his reward. The word of H.I.M is prosperity for all man but not laziness at the expense of your brother. No my brother, “Niggas are not always Niggas” only when they make the choice to be so. Otherwise we are the children of Jah the shinning sons of Africa. There is a big difference in perception here. I will always be a child of Jah, but I have to work hard to be a shining son of Africa. Just my crazy idea on life.
    Rasman

  12. Zotobre

    Your comments show that you are one ass licking fool! You are neither black nor African, just a mutilated piece of rotten meat venting malodorus poison.

    Go hide and die…rotten maggot!

    Jahdey

    1. lol don’t hold back Jahdey; tell us how you really feel. you could not be any more on point about zotobre if you were an arrow at a mountains peak. ignorance like that sickens me.

  13. Listen people, don’t be fooled by propagandist, like people who write ignorant comment claiming to be black. Like that one above with the screen name Zotobre Chabrac Granneg.

    1. i am praying he is not really black , he is worst the flavor flav. his comments set us back 50 yrs. MG!!! i say we put him to sleep.

  14. We Africans need to stop gushing out non-issues! We all fight within the evil babylon system on a daily basis.

    “Coz everyday they can reach us thru political strategy….”

    Bob Marley and the Wailers used Chris Blackwell to mainstream Rastafari!

    Go Danny Glover go! I can relate to some of my Haitian Idren feeling ambivalence towards the American dominance of the Great Toussaint L’Ouverture.

    As an African I have also felt the same when productions like “Hotel Rwanda”, “Cry Freedom”, “Blood Diamonds”,etc were financed and dominated by American actors.We can keep complaining or celebrate the recognition of a human story comming out of the Motherland.

    Whatever negative nuances may be derived by “outsiders” telling our stories I and I choose to think positively about such film events:For I and I in Africa & Diaspora with I-ntelligence is getting to know each other: We are sussing each other out.And they should be no doubt. One Love!

    Let Toussaint L’Ouverture’s story be told! We hardly know his story in Africa. I gather its the same for some of I & I out there in Diaspora. So what if its American led? Danny Glover is an African let him do this thing!

    Then we will use our minds and hearts to I-nternalize the story of the Great Toussaint L’Ouverture! We Africans need to know why America has punuished Haiti so bad.We are Africans and I and I get really angry at Babylon’s jealous fears.

    Now as for Zotobre and his negative clique go to hell if what you are thinking is so low of the BLACK KINGDOM.

    We await the movie.

    JAH RASTAFARI!

    1. Janrateng Skabeli,

      if your interested in learning about Haiti and why America and it’s goons- i mean allies try to cripple Haiti, i recommend the book ,Getting Haiti Right This Time. the authors are Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman and Paul Farmer. the book is basically a synopsis of what happen in the 2004 coup that was backed and funded by the Bush and Dick White house.
      p.s. read Noam Chomsky. pick up anything that says Noam Chomsky.

  15. let mr damny satisfy us with that great leader story of toussaint louverture so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days. for as many years as we have seen adversity.let the work be seen. jah ratafari, guide us througt darckness to see the light

  16. I`m very happy for this initiative and i think this movie will be a success. but, a film like this cannot play without some parts in creole. this creole, this language is for a lot in the haitian`history and mostly the war of independance the Haiti.
    mwen kontan anpil pou bèl travay ki ap fèt a e mwen kwè ke fim apgen anpil reyisit. men, yon fim tankou fim sa pa dwe fet san kek pati an kreyol. kreyol, lang sa, se yon pwen fò na listwa dayiti e sitou nan lagè pou endepandans peyi dayiti.

    Thank / Mèsi anpli

    1. James Lachaud,

      i understand your point about the creole speaking part. but truth be told you can’t describe color to the blind. the point of the project is to educate so sacrifices will, must and should be made.

  17. Congrats for Mr Glover to create this film, which will shed light to a part of history that has been shunned. Although I take much offense to any disrespect to Simon Bolivar. He is a hero unlike the fool Chavez, who is a coward to his own country. He supports guerilla warfare and communism. They take over with his views. Where countries like Colombia continue to fight its own internal battles, on top of the foul influence and financial backing Chavez is giving to these guerilla groups. Who kidnap and kill innocent people. Simon Bolivar was a man ahead of his time. A liberator not a dictator, to fight against the oppression wheter it was white of black. Very similiar to Haile Selassie
    fought the same war against the oppressive forces for freedom of his people. (Or have we forgotten Selassie won Simon Bolivar awards in many latin American countries!)Unfortunetly fools like Hugo Chavez, misuse the image of Simon Bolivar in falsehood!
    While hollywood is a babylon of lies and neglected reality. We make movies about drug dealers,yet Movies on liberators Toussaint Louverture, Haile Selassie , Simon Bolivar, Panco Villa and etc. Go unseen and never produced, because people perfer to see another Spoof movie on Paris Hilton!! For those who lack proper knowldge read upon “letter to jamaica” by Simon Bolivar and learn upon the struggles that you never appreciated in your blind ignorance.
    “La lucha no para, hermano mio, por que soy un esclavo para la libertad. Estamos unidos o estamos divididos? aga’ te la pregunta…todo es una cadena!!”

    1. Jack Da Rippa
      You speak of Simon Bolivar, but yet you call Chavez a dictator? Perhaps he is but Chavez, dictator or not is not the direct reason innocent civilians and young Americans are dying in Iraq for a false cause. So the begging questions is, if Chavez is a dictator what was George Bush Dick Cheney? Because if there were on the side of the righteous meaning God, come judgment day. Bush, Cheney and God should be co-defenders. Stop watching Fix Noise I mean Fox News. It bad for you, it’ll mess you up.

  18. If you haitians have such a problem with Glover doing this movie with non Haitians as the stars, then fund it and produce yourselves……..oh i forgot you cant or won – So shut up and accept the blessing. This man has the requisite connections and expertise and sensibility to pull this off – and he went to the tight man to get the money. Chavez understands what Haiti has given to the world

  19. K
    I too shear the same sentiments but with some respect. I really think the Haitians that are having issues with this project need to stop being so negative and look at the bigger picture. No Haitian actors that’s minimal, no Creole dialog, minimal. the film is not shot in Haiti where it can employ a lot of Haitian people not so minimal but I can look beyond that. Sometimes you have to let go of something little to grab a hold on something bigger. And I do hope this project does very well at the box office. I will be in line for the 1st show and I will tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a friend to tell a friend E.

  20. @Delite.

    Thanks on the tip on Chomsky’s book. Will try my best to get a hold of it because I do like his incisive analyses on Uncle Sam’s power games (imperialism) in “his backyard” (South America) and basically globally ……

    He puts it very simply really: Uncle Sam can be quite the hypocrite with free worlding & democracy lectures to all and sundry. As a ruse & guise on his REAL PURPOSE. Whatever it takes…..

    “They will do anything, anything. To materialize their everywish…oh the Big Fish”…dig?

  21. Agree with those who question Mr Glover, still today Haitians pay for been the first Afrikan Republic, why so much on L’Ouverture, when Dessalines is the main man who didnt do deal with the west: a man with a clearer vision and truly Afrikan in his principle [L’Ouverture having his kids educated in France, that’s what got him caught, deep down he was confuse] If any of you see a film by Jamaican director “The 3 Dumas” The Haitian Dumas head of the French army [highest position in France at the time!] depose by the racist napoleon!
    One chapter not discuss is when the UN ask for the Haitians top professionals to help in the Congo after the Belgian were thrown out 1960, the Haitian drafted the Congo’s constitution/law, created the University and schooling system [Haitian teacher/headmaster would ask their students a report on their teachers and as a result clean european racist teachers from their school] , rebuild the industry and factory,
    Book by Camille Kuyu, Les Haitiens au Congo, 2006, ISBN: 2-296-00858-5 publish on L’Harmattan. keep questioning even the unquestionable. Hotep

  22. Dany if thou made the films only in Venezuela your film is not real it must be done in Haiti, the Haitian landscape is unique, rare incredible there is the landscape that are remains unchangeable then I think that your film will not be real

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