In February 2004, Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide was forced from office nearly two years before the end of his term.
Aristide and the Endless Revolution investigates the events leading up to the coup d’état; that it was the second for Aristide (overthrown in 1991, mere months after becoming Haiti’s first democratically elected president) darkens the film’s triumphalist-sounding title. Interviewees include the exiled president himself (currently living in South Africa), supporters Maxine Waters and Danny Glover, and Noam Chomsky, whose long-standing views on U.S. government suppression of popular democracy abroad are particularly timely in light of Bush’s stated foreign policy goals. Director Nicolas Rossier gives significant time to the disloyal opposition—we hear from anti-Aristide Haitian elites as well as U.S. assistant secretary of state Roger Noriega, playing the role of right-wing hatchet man—although Aristide emerges as an unproblematic symbol of democracy at work, in contrast to the more compromised figure found in last year’s
The Agronomist. New elections are scheduled for December, although the interim regime has already moved the date multiple times, amid reports of widespread human rights abuses.