Documentary- ELENA In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army, on the basis of anti-black racism
ELENA Watch Party Followed by Q&A with Yvonne Welbon
Saturday, December 11th at 1PM PT/4PM ET
ELENA Watch Party Followed by Conversation with
Paco de Onís, Elena Lorac, and Director Michèle Stephenson
Sunday, December 12th at 1PM PT/4PM ET
In 1937, tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent were exterminated by the Dominican army, on the basis of anti-black racism. Fast-forward to 2013, the Dominican Republic’s Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929, rendering more than 200,000 people stateless. Because of this ruling, Elena has lost her citizenship, and her family stands to lose their rightful access to legal residency in the Dominican Republic if they don’t manage to get their documents in time. Negotiating a mountain of opaque bureaucratic processes and a racist, hostile society, Elena becomes the face of the struggle to remain in a country built on the labor of her father and forefathers. Director Michèle Stephenson’s documentary follows Elena and her family through their tribulations and small joys, as they struggle to remain in the country they’ve called home for generations.
About Michèle Stephenson
As a co-founder of the Rada Film Group, filmmaker Michèle Stephenson pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and experience as a human rights attorney to tell compelling deeply personal stories in a variety of media that resonate beyond the margins. Her work has appeared on platforms, including PBS, Showtime and MTV. Her film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys including Best Documentary and Best News Coverage of a Contemporary Issue, and won the Jury Prize at Sundance. Promises Kept, written with Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Stephenson is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow.
We would like to thank David Magdael & Associates for the artist profile and press release.