Media Room

Rooftop Docs: When the Drum Is Beating


Thu, May 5 8:30 PM
Rooftop Screening Venue

Not Available

85 minutes | USA  | Haitian Creole English  | International Premiere | Rating: PG

Hot Docs’ open-air screening program returns! Join us on a downtown rooftop for music, drinks and fantastic films. DJed by Ruby Ashtar. Doors open at 7:30 pm and screenings start at sunset. Admission is restricted to those 19 years of age or older.

When the Drum Is Beating
In the northern Haitian city of Cap-Haïtien resides the country’s oldest and most beloved band, Orchestre Septentrional. Founded in 1948 by Ulrick Pierre Louis, this rotating mix of Haiti’s finest musicians has toured New York City, Toronto, Montreal and Paris, delivering a mélange of traditional voodoo music and Latin rhythms. It’s the ‘Haitian people’s band’ and it has outlasted all of the country’s political leaders. Yet this documentary is about more than the music. Since gaining independence and wealth in 1804, Haiti, the world’s first black republic, has become the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, one that yearns for a promising future. When the Drum Is Beating offers a deeper understanding into the survival of Haitian culture and Septentrional through the country’s turbulent history. Award-winning director Whitney Dow (Two Towns of Jasper) delivers a humane and truly exceptional rendering of Haiti’s pride, resistance, despair and rich artistic tradition. Karina Rotenstein

Subjects :

Co-Presented with Co-presented with Open Roof Festival and Rooftop Films.

Whitney Dow

Whitney Dow
Jennifer Latham
Daniel Morel
Jane V. Regan

Executive Producer(s)
Marco Williams

Niels Alpert
Jonathan Furmanski
Tom Hurwitz
Eddie Marritz

Nancy Kennedy
Federico Rosenzvit

Orchestre Septentrional
Original Score by Sasha Gordon

Orchestre Septentrional
Original Score by Sasha Gordon