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Into the Rift- Cristo Rey a Haitian-Dominican Retelling of Romeo and Juliet to be Screened in Haiti in Brooklyn Series

Cristo Rey presents and Haitian-Dominican spin on Romeo and Juliet

Though (and maybe because) they share an island, the history between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is fraught with tension and stories of blood. The most recent incarnation of twin state island’s problematic history came as the DR’s high court ruling to rescind  birthright citizenship granted by the constitution.   Effectively retroactively stripping possibly over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent of their nationality born between 1929 and 2010. The Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College delves into this story with the screening of Leticia Tonos’ Cristo Rey

The screening comes as a part of the ISTWA DAYITI/HAITI STORIES (The Stories of Haiti in the Heart of Brooklyn) Caribbean Research Center at the Medgar Evers College, which uses culture, primarily through film and literature, to explore critical issues relating to Haiti and its Diasporas. Cristo Rey will be screened on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at 7:00pm. 

Violence and racism lay at the heart of Cristo Rey

At its core, Cristo Rey is a remake of Romeo and Juliet, but rather than looking at class the major divide in this retelling is race. The film is set against the gritty background of the shanty town in the Dominican Republic where it probes the layers of racial prejudice that permeate the society, and can also be found in different manifestations in other Caribbean countries. Of course, the time honoured elements of hatred and jeolousy also propel the film.

Cristo Rey features James Saintil, Akari Endo, Yasser Michelén, Jaisen Santana and Leonardo Vasquez. The film was released in 2013 and has been screened at the Toronto Film Festival and other fests. 

The screening of Cristo Rey is free and open to the public and takes place at Medgar Evers College, Founders Auditorium. The Story of Haiti in the Heart of Brooklyn series is presented by Medgar Evers College School of Liberal Studies and Education, Department of Foreign Languages, Caribbean Research Center, Center for Black Literature and Film & Culture Series with support from The Caribbean Film Academy.