At TIFF this year, I saw everything from killer blobs to a bald guy floating in space. However, what sticks out the most in my memory is not a carefully-woven fictional tale. It's a documentary. I'm not quite sure what attracted me to the Ghosts of Cité Soleil, but as soon as I saw the screencap in the film guide, I knew I had to see it. The morning of the screening, I bemoaned the lack of sleep I had from Midnight Madness screenings and hoped that I would be able to stay awake. When the film started, all my tiredness disappeared.
Ghosts captures a volatile time in Haiti, during the end of Aristide's power. It centers on the lives of Bily and 2Pac, leaders of the Chiméres, a gang in the slum of Cité Soleil. The twist in their story is that they work for then-President Aristide. Unlike many documentaries where the stories have to be strong to pull the viewer in, Ghosts packs a double punch -- the story is compelling, but it also unfolds like a carefully-written drama.
First-time director Asger Leth stumbled onto a story at its most volatile, and it unfolded before him. A recent article in Filmmaker Magazine noted that the film was to be released this year, but it appears that Leth has recently posted on a belfim.com message board stating that the film is to be released at the earliest in January 2007, and the latest, in May. If this seems up your alley, the film's website has a small clip and mailing list.