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Jimmy Jean-Louis talks “Touissaint Louverture” at Haiti Cultural Exchange screening

It’s a story shrouded in misconceptions; a story that has been overshadowed by its subjects’ current mis-happenings. It’s a story so riveting that Danny Glover spent more than 30 years trying to tell it.

Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis
Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis

“Toussaint Louverture for me is one of the greatest heroes that we’ve had. Not we as Haitians or we as black people, but we as people,” said actor Jimmy Jean-Louis.

“Touissaint Louverture,” a 2011 film by Philippe Niang, is featured at the 20th New York African Film Festival, which runs until April 9. Jean-Louis will be honored at the festival for his starring role in the film, which chronicles the slave revolts that led to the Haitian Revolution.

At a screening hosted by Haiti Cultural Exchange for his film “Le President a-t-il le SIDA?” at Five Myles gallery in Brooklyn on April 6, Jean-Louis spoke about his experience working on the critically-acclaimed film and his motivations for accepting the role of Louverture.

He was the inspiration for some of the world’s greatest leaders like Martin Luther King, Mandela and Marcus Garvey, Jean-Louis said. His accomplishments led to the liberation of South America and forever changed world economics.

“If you really look at what Haiti has done, you’ll see it’s probably one of the greatest stories ever told,” he said. “People need to know about that story.”

Jean-Louis is most notably known for his role as “the Haitian” in NBC’s hit series Heroes.

Haiti Cultural Exchange will host its second annual Haiti Film Festival from May 9 to May 12 in New York City. For more information visit: Haiti Cultural Exchange.

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