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New On DVD - Doc "When the Drum is Beating" Explores 6 Decades Of Haitian History Through Music

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 13, 2012 at 4:38PM

When the Drum is Beating tells the story of six decades of Haitian history seen through the lens of Septentrional - a 20-piece band whose fusion of Cuban big band and Hatian voodoo beats continued through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d’états, and chaos, navigating the ups and downs, the glory and the tragedy of the country.
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When the Drum is Beating

When the Drum is Beating tells the story of six decades of Haitian history seen through the lens of Septentrional - a 20-piece band whose fusion of Cuban big band and Hatian voodoo beats continued through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d’états, and chaos, navigating the ups and downs, the glory and the tragedy of the country.

Directed by Whitney Dow, the 84-minute documentary toured the film festival circuit during 2011 and will had its broadcast premiere last night, April 12, on PBS.

From the site:

When the Drum is Beating interweaves the extraordinary story of Septentrional with that of Haiti: from the brutality of French colonialism and the bloody revolution that brought Haitians their freedom, to the crushing foreign debt and the 15 year American occupation that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier. We see the hope that was created by Jean Bertrand Aristide, and the despair that followed after he was driven from power. And we are there as Haiti endures an earthquake that kills almost 300,000 people and tears apart the social fabric of the country.  

The film is also now available on DVD if you missed it and/or want to own it.

Watch the trailer below, and find the DVD release info underneath:

For more on the film, visit www.whenthedrumisbeating.com.

WHEN THE DRUM IS BEATING
84 minutes, documentary, color, English & Creole w/English subtitles, 2011

A film by Whitney Dow (director of The Two Towns of Jasper)

UPC: 7-20229-91510-6 | Catalog #: FRF 915106D | SRP: $27.95

Special Features • Interview with Director Whitney Dow • & More

Street Date: April 12 

In Haiti, there is one band that has seen it all: Septentrional. For six decades this 20 piece band has been making passionate, beautiful music - a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian voodoo beats - through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d’états, and chaos, navigating the ups and downs, the glory and the tragedy that is Haiti's history.

When the Drum is Beating interweaves the extraordinary story of Septentrional with that of Haiti: from the brutality of French colonialism and the bloody revolution that brought Haitians their freedom, to the crushing foreign debt and the 15 year American occupation that ushered in the brutal dictatorship of François "Papa Doc" Duvalier. We see the hope that was created by Jean Bertrand Aristide, and the despair that followed after he was driven from power. And we are there as Haiti endures an earthquake that kills almost 300,000 people and tears apart the social fabric of the country.

Through its sweeping narrative, infectious music and tension-filled encounters, the film allows the viewer to see, feel and hear the passion, commitment and joy of Septentrional's musicians, and through them, the unique Haitian spirit.


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