Americans have voted in an actor for the highest office in the land, but would they ever go for a flamboyant, political singer already calling himself “president”?
Sweet Micky for President follows the campaign trail in Haiti’s 2010 democratic election, in the year after a devastating earthquake displaced hundreds of thousands. Haitians faced a buffet line of candidates promising help, but seated against a pink background and painted with the most charming of smiles, Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly was ready to deliver.
A controversial figure even before running for office, Sweet Micky dubbed himself the president of kompa (a popular style of Haitian music) and was widely known to wear diapers onstage or take off his pants when performing. But his Miley Cyrus antics were matched with political lyrics against the corrupt Haitian government that would have made Fela Kuti proud. Fugees rapper Pras Michel encouraged the charismatic star to move to the political stage after months of presidential inaction in the wake of the earthquake.
Sweet Micky for President reveals much more than most button-down news specials manage to. Fitting in a brief history of the island’s independence and string of dictatorships, the documentary quickly explains, with slick graphics, the political quagmire fueling Micky’s political activism. The energy never falters as the film jumps from talking-head testimonies to on-the-streets footage of rallies and riots. Not even a tense confrontation between Haitian-American presidential hopeful Wyclef Jean and actor/activist Sean Penn can hold back the film’s infectious spirit.
Sweet Micky for President
Directed by Ben Patterson
Opens November 20, Cinema Village