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Quebec, 2017

Production : Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Ciné Institute

Programmed by Laurent Maurice Lafontant

Haitian creole

French, English



Despite the efforts of the colonizers and the hegemonists to eradicate Haitian voodooism, religion persists in opposition to the discrimination that exists in the country. Mambo portrays Fanise, a voodoo priestess, who sheds light on the secrets of this inclusive religion. The film was produced as part of a an international exchange in between the Department of Cinema and Communication of Cegep St-Laurent and the Ciné Institute of Jacmel, Haïti.

A word from Tënk

Included in the 11th edition of Massimadi, the Afro LGBTQ+ Film and Arts Festival, in February 2019, the documentary Mambo was presented as part of a series of short films. For the festival, its inclusion was self-evident. Not only does the film touch on Afro LGBTQ+ issues, it represents a Haitian reality that is all too rare, especially with its specific focus on Vodou.
While Christian religions have often been used to promote intolerance―and even hatred―towards LGBTQ+ communities in Haiti, this documentary looks into the ways in which Vodou, as an important spiritual practice in Haitian culture and history, integrates and accepts LGBTQ+ individuals. This documentary serves to both demystify the often-demonized Vodou and show how a non-Western religion, imported by West African slaves, can demonstrate an openness to LGBTQ+ identities.
In Haiti, the Bible is often used to argue that homosexuality isn’t a part of the country’s culture. However, with a film like Mambo, we could instead argue that it is in fact homophobia, as it is expressed in Haiti, that is the Western import.

Laurent Maurice Lafontant
Massimadi Foundation President

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