Written by Nora Vertus
On March 12, 2022, in Little Havana, at the Tower Theater, a Haitian movie directed by Gessica Geneus, Freda made its US debut at the Miami Film Festival. At the same time, another film was also shown called Madame Pipi. The movies were shed light on Haitians’ hardship during Haiti’s constant civil unrest.
Freda focuses on a young woman discovering how to survive the constant insecurity affecting her life and her family while navigating the dating world.
However, the styles of the films were completely different and highlighted different components of those hardships. Freda focuses on a young woman discovering how to survive the constant insecurity affecting her life and her family while navigating the dating world. Her super-religious mother does not believe in her studies, but only in marrying her off, a lazy brother, and a provocative younger sister who feels her worth is only in her body. This film portrays the strain put on Haitian women with no ability to rely on their male counterparts for help. Many diasporan and current Haitians living at home will feel moved and connected to this beautiful piece of art; it is meant to be seen by younger and older generations alike.
Madame Pipi, produced by Rachel Salnave, focuses on the hardship of the Haitian diaspora living in a foreign country, hardly able to make a living.
On the other hand, Madame Pipi, produced by Rachel Salnave, focuses on the hardship of the Haitian diaspora living in a foreign country, hardly able to make a living. However, she has to take care of her family back home. Madame Pipi works as a bathroom attendant, and every Friday, she sends her tips back home to take care of her family even throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The Haitian diaspora will relate to this sentimental piece, for it is the way of life for most of us.
As a young Haitian woman who lived as Freda and as Madame Pipi, I feel an immense sense of pride seeing our community stand out through the arts. Freda has five wins and three nominations, including at the acclaimed Cannes Festival and the Miami Film Festival. The movie is currently being pushed for an Oscar nomination. It is up to us to move both of these movies forward via social media and word of mouth to showcase that we are so much more than our struggle.
MADAME PIPI contact: