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.


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.


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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Guardian Unlimited

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.


    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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