»Freda« bei »ifs-Begegnung« Gender & Diversity
With Freda, Haitian actress Gessica Généus celebrated her debut as a director, placing Haiti on the international film festival map. Généus takes an unsentimental look at how, in patriarchal Haitian society, women in particular suffer from economic downturn, social and political grievances, cultural repression and racism.
The story of the two unequal sisters Freda and Géraldine also tells the story of two opposing lives in a society shaped by colonialism: the protagonist Freda (played by Néhémie Basiten), unlike her sister, decides neither to marry into the corrupt upper class nor to follow her partner Yeshua abroad. Freda not only opposes the political elite, but also sees the roots of the problems in the cultural alienation caused by colonialism. The devaluation of the Creole language, the continuing impact of vodoo, and the problem of colorism are subtly addressed in the film, while documentary film sequences of the violent street protests of 2018 clearly interrupt the feature film in places. A film about the power-critical struggles of a young generation of Haiti’s first post-colonial independence state.
Freda won the Best Debut Feature Film award at the 2022 IFFF Dortmund+Köln, presented by Zimbabwean writer and director Tsitsi Dangarembga, primarily for the resisting character of Freda, who – not unlike the director – decides to go to Haiti.
Moderation: Dr. Maxa Zoller