"Rap music influenced them people deep over there; they will live by it and they will die by it. And it ain't no Hollywood movie, it's the truth." So says Haitian-American musician Wyclef Jean, speaking on the street-level reality in Cite Soleil, a shantytown outside Port-au-Prince, and the central character of Ghosts of Cite Soleil, a documentary on which Jean boasts both executive producer and original music credits. It's a statement that the film fails to follow through on the implications of, showing little curiosity as to what such an "influence" might imply for hardcore hip-hop music - a genre which, incidentally, has always borrowed freely from Hollywood - or for the residents of Cite Soleil, who daily see the most lunatic lyrical excesses made absolutely real.
Click here to read the rest of Nick Pinkerton's review of Ghosts of Cite Soleil.