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. @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?

  2. 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

  3. 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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