8th edition: 10 April – 14 April 2019

Chèche lavi (Looking for Life) (2019 Feature Film)

Sam Ellison | Mexico, Haiti, USA | 2019 | doc | color | DCP | 76′ | Creole, Spanish, Portuguese | e.s.

An honest, subtle portrait of two Haitian refugees who tell their stories on the US border. One toils to earn money, the other just to get admitted. Disappointment and resignation overcome them in turns. Where they are really better off is left unsaid.

Everything sold, everything left behind. A long journey via Brazil and Peru, in order finally to ride into Mexico in the cargo hold of a truck. Ready to embark on a new life in the USA. But then there’s the wall. Haitian refugees Robens and James face unpleasant surprises in Chèche lavi, even though director Sam Ellison doesn’t show all of the misery. His portrait of two young men on the verge of a future to dream of is honest and subtle.

While the camera and music create the mood of a feature as we see Trump’s impenetrable wall being built, James and Robens tell us calmly and factually what they are going through. One is toiling to earn enough money, the other just to get admitted to the USA. Disappointment and resignation continue to vie for attention. The film doesn’t take sides on where these men are basically better off.

Place: The Cinemas 5

Date: 12 April 2019

Time: 19:00

Duration: 1:00

Place: The Cinemas 5

Date: 13 April 2019

Time: 16:15

Duration: 1:00

Place: The Cinemas 4

Date: 14 April 2019

Time: 11:15

Duration: 1:00

Year in
Festival

2019

Director

Sam Ellison

Camera

Sam Ellison

Country

Mexico
Haiti
USA

Editor

Sam Ellison
Janis Vogel

Language

Creole
Spanish
Portuguese

Length

76′

Music

Michael Beharie

Producer

Nora Mendis
Rachel Cantave
Kyle Martin
Abraham Avila

Sales

Sam Ellison

Year of Production

2019

Sam ELLISON is filmmaker en cameraman, gevestigd in New York. Hij voltooide filmopleidingen aan Harvard en Stanford University. Zijn eerste korte documentaire Distribution (2016) werd internationaal vertoond, onder andere op filmfestivals in Glasgow, Atlanta, Sebastopol en Yerevan. Als cameraman heeft hij onder meer meegewerkt aan You Are My Friend (2019), Vox Lux (2018), die ook op IFFR 2019 zal worden vertoond, en Manchester by the Sea (2016). Zijn eerste lange documentaire Chèche lavi (2019) ging in Rotterdam in wereldpremière. 

 

Filmography

Between Seasons (2016, short doc, co-dir), Distribution (2016, short doc), Chèche lavi/Looking for Life (2019, doc)