Director: Michèle Stephenson

Canada | 2020 | 95 min

Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary | Hot Docs

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In 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court issued an edict that anyone with Haitian parents would lose their Dominican citizenship, retroactive to 1929. This ruling resulted in more than 200,000 people essentially becoming refugees in the place they called home. Dominicans of Haitian descent have been persecuted for almost a century, but driven to address this injustice with a conviction that there can be a better future, a young attorney devotes her efforts to addressing the political corruption and reuniting families driven apart by a ruthless government. In this winner of the 2020 Hot Docs Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary, director Michèle Stephenson draws upon her experience as a human rights attorney, as well as her Panamanian and Haitian ancestry, to document the tension between these two fractious island nations. The result is an acutely observed work of cinema that weaves the magic realism of regional folk tales with the painful experiences of those impacted by systemic racism.


Get access to an exclusive Q&A with your ticket:

Host Alex Rogalski (VFF Programmer) talks with director Michèle Stephenson