Moving from the frozen landscapes of the Jura mountains to the urban centres of Port-au-Prince, Ouvertures brings the Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture back to life. In France a Haitian researcher tries to read the past within the stratigraphic layers of Jurassic limestone, whilst in Haiti a group of young actors translate and rehearse scenes from Monsieur Toussaint, a play written by Édouard Glissant, that recounts the last days in the life of Louverture dying in exile in a prison cell in the Jura, 1803. Ghosts from the pantheon of Haitian history visit Louverture on his deathbed and put him to trial. As the play proceeds the actors become possessed by their characters, and eventually the ghost of Louverture joins the group and takes them on a voyage for a new kind of exile.
Louis Henderson has shown his work nationally and internationally, including at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Le Printemps de Septembre, Belo Horizonte Film Festival, Jihlava Documentary Festival, EMAF Osnabrueck, British Film Institute, Centre Pompidou, Museo Reina Sofia, Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery. Henderson’s films can be categorised as documentary-fictions that engage with subjects such as post-colonialism, history, politics and anthropology. His cinema reflects on society’s cultural and material remains and as such his films are essentially archaeological; focusing on the signatures of the archaic in the contemporary.
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