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When the Drum is Beating
Monday, July 2 at 3pm
Investigative journalist, filmmaker, and producer Jane Regan will present the documentary When the Drum is Beating, directed by her collaborator and friend Whitney Dow. Regan has worked in Haiti on and off for the past two decades and will discuss the film and other projects of hers after the film.
When the Drum is Beating
In Haiti, there is one band that has seen it all: Septentrional. For six decades this 20 piece band has been making beautiful music -- a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian vodou beats – that turns out thousands of fans each time it plays. At 62, Septentrional has already survived twelve years longer than the expected Haitian lifespanIn Haiti, there is one band that has seen it all: Septentrional. For six decades this 20 piece band has been making beautiful music -- a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian vodou beats – that turns out thousands of fans each time it plays. At 62, Septentrional has already survived twelve years longer than the expected Haitian lifespan.
When the Drum is Beating is a feature documentary that interweaves the extraordinary story of Septentrional’s six decades of creativity with the history of Haiti and how it went from being the first free black republic with a huge wealth of natural resources to a shattered country that cannot support its citizens. The film moves back and forth in time between the past and present, and gives broad context to the current problems facing the country: 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 helped usher in the brutal dictatorship of François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. We see the hope that was created by the rise of Jean Bertrand Aristide, and the despair that followed the coup that drove him from power. Most importantly, we learn how all these events contributed to creating the conditions that made the horrific death toll of the earthquake inevitable.o the cu
- Director: Whitney Dow
- Runtime: 1 hour
- Genre: Documentary
“Sitting through the world premiere of When the Drum is Beating at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, I thought to myself, at last: the definitive movie on the real Haiti.”
– Huffington Post
Williams College Office of Special Academic Programs; Africana Studies