The actress from Haiti Cyndie Lundy, living in the Dominican Republic, stars in the new movie “Parsejil”a stark portrait of the genocide that Haitians suffered 80 years ago in the neighboring country, although in an interview with Efe he shows his eagerness to serve as a bridge conciliator between two warring nations.
On a visit to Geneva to present the film directed by José María Cabral at the FILMAR Latin American film festival, Lundy stresses that despite the cruel events that “Perejil” recounts, the film also “shows the human side, coexistence, the solidarity that exists between the two nations”.
“There is the idea that we hate each other,” laments Lundy when speaking of the country where she was born and the one where she was welcomed, grew up and developed her artistic career.“but I think it is due more to the ignorance that we have of each other”.
The cinema, says the young interpreter, “can be a good bridge to cross those differences, see that we can learn from the other and share, tell stories like this one.”
ONE OF THE GREAT CRIMES OF TRUJILLISMO
The film recounts how life was lived in a small border community between Haiti and the Dominican Republic the massacre with that name ordered in 1937 the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujilo: those people who were intercepted and were not able to pronounce the word “parsley” were considered Haitian and executed.
The film, which includes particularly tough scenes and moments of enormous drama, required a great physical and mental effort for the actress protagonist, who admits having had to take a break at the end of the intense shooting to clear his head.
“The characters run through the jungle, sleep on the ground, try to hide, and what happened in the film I felt in real life,” said Lundy, whose performance recently received an award at the Oldenburg Film Festival (Germany). ) while his on-screen partner, Ramón Emilio Candelario, He was awarded in the Ibero-American film contest of Huelva.
The film has aroused some controversy in the Dominican Republic, where the actress He acknowledges that “before it was released, almost all the comments were negative and many said that it was not the time to tell that story.”
She does not agree and stresses that the Perejil massacre, one of the darkest -and forgotten- episodes in the common history of the island, in which it is estimated that between 17,000 and 35,000 people died, “It’s something you have to know so you don’t make the same mistake again.”
“I feel very privileged, very proud to be the bridge to tell this story, although I feel that there is more to achieve,” she adds.
PARALLELS WITH HIS CHARACTER
Lundy shares certain biographical details with Marie, the character she plays in “Perejil”, as both are Haitian living in the Dominican Republic: in the case of the actress, since 2010, when her family left Haiti because of the severe earthquake that devastated his native country that year.
In the Dominican Republic, Lundy feels integrated but understands the discrimination Haitian migrants may experience: “I’ve always been treated well, I have many Dominican friends, but there are things I don’t like, like when people are treated unfairly just because of their color skin, sexual orientation or religion,” he says.
This discrimination has resurfaced in recent months, in which numerous crises have once again prompted many Haitians to leave their country for their neighbor, sometimes being expelled by the Dominican authorities.
“Haiti is a poor country, in crisis, and the closest is the Dominican Republic, There are people who have no other option to improve their lives”underline the actresswho affirms that the treatment given to some of these migrants is not humanitarian and suggests better reception mechanisms.
Lundy also regrets the situation in his native country, this year affected by cholera epidemics and gang wars that have plunged his capital Port-au-Prince into chaos, although he assures that “positive things also happen there, sometimes he always focuses on the negative ” when in reality “Haiti has many stories to tell”.