Arts + Culture

Award-Winning Haitian Short Film 'Papa Machete' Is Now Streaming Ahead of Third Horizon’s Inaugural Caribbean Film Fest

The Jason FitzRoy Jeffers-written and executive produced documentary sheds light on the veiled history of the machete fighting technique in Haiti.

Black August marked the 212th anniversary of the Haitian Revolution of 1791 to 1804 led by Toussaint L'Ouverture—the only successful slave rebellion in modern recorded history.


Thus Haiti became the first independent Black republic in the world. However to this day, France forces Haiti to pay an "independence debt"—or reparations—totaling billions, to compensate long-dead colonists for the slaves who had won their freedom from Napoléon Bonaparte.

Overcoming incredible odds, having few guns and ammunition, slaves of African descent wielded machetes, the very tool they used to labor on sugar plantations, to achieve freedom.

It is from this rich legacy that short doc Papa Machete, written and executive produced by Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, introduces us to late tire machétt master “Professor” Alfred Avril who taught his fighting technique, often guarded in Haiti, to a select few.

“I don’t use this gift to kill people, but I have it,” Avril reveals in the film. “So if you attack me...Understand? You’ll be in a bad way. If you are cut, the blood will flow.”

The short, boasting lush cinematography, paints a picture of Avril who instructs on the practical and spiritual nature of the machete, especially valuable for Haitian farmers like himself, according to the press release. Through his efforts to provide for and educate all eleven of his children, Avril demonstrates his allegiance to Haiti. His sons Roland and Jean-Paul, both accomplished machete martial artists, carry forth into the future the memory of Avril and Haiti’s victorious past.

“They are the one’s who will see if things change,” Avril says chillingly. “[My sons] are the ones who will see if things get better.”

A hit on the 2014 international film festival circuit, including Sundance and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Jonathan David Kane-directed and edited intimate portrait is now streaming ahead of Third Horizon’s inaugural Caribbean Film Festival.

A passion project of Jeffers, and organized by a collective of Miami and Brooklyn-based Caribbean creatives, the film festival spotlights eight features and nine short films.. If you’re in Miami, be sure to check it out, running from Sept. 29 until Oct. 2.

And, of course, view Papa Machete at the top.

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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