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Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution

Noland Walker  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Noland Walker
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: March 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NY4WWY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,531 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

The Haitian Revolution represents the only successful slave revolution in history; it created the world's first Black republic --- traumatizing Southern planters, inspiring U.S. Blacks, and invigorating anti-slavery activist world-wide. At the forefront of the rebellion was General Toussaint Louverture, an ex-slave whose genius was admired by allies and enemies alike.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strange Bedfellows May 12, 2009
Like many African Americans, I knew that Louverture led the first Black independent nation, but my knowledge ends there. Perhaps a Haitian citizen would be bored by this, but I was excited to learn more facts about this important event.

Too often, even in historical narratives, lines are clearly drawn and parties can be divided into clearly good or bad. This history presents things as much more complicated. At times, white French didn't want to include Blacks under their Revolution-based ideas about equality. At other times, the French supported Haitian freedom under revolutionary ideas. In the US, biracial individuals historically have been deemed Black and assumed to have loyalties with that community. This documentary suggested that the mixed-race Haitian population were more loyal to the white community.

Along these complicated lines, Louverture is not presented as a modern-day militant. He seemed to be free and not at the bottom ranks of Haitian society. When the revolt began, he helped to ensure the whites in his birth town remained safe. After gaining some freedoms, he saw no other path but for Blacks to return to planting sugar cane. I once read that the Haitian flag is just the French one with the white portion ripped out, in a militant fashion. However, this work doesn't portray the leader in a Mau-Mau manner.

I'm used to modern militants taking their fashion queues from Africa. I try to rock kente cloth and all that too. However, Louverture dressed like Marcus Garvey who dressed like Napoleon, in standard European garb.

The documentary had diverse interviewees: Blacks and whites, men and women, Americans and Haitians. One interviewee spoke French, but I was surprised that no one was interviewed speaking Haitian Creole.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haitian Revolution - Say What? January 31, 2010
Verified Purchase
It is interesting that information about the Haitain Revolution is finally being made available. Toussaint Louverture was only one player in that history and more of the narrative needs to be told. It is a story of slavery to freedom to slavery. We also need to see the global implications of the only successful slave revolution in history.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the sanitized version I have read before October 15, 2009
Verified Purchase
As an education experience, I enjoyed this film very much. As a person who has studied Vodou and Santeria I have studied a much more sanitized and simplistic version of Haitian history. This film was much more balanced and seems to have presented things as they were. The revolution was a human victory but like most revolutions was bloody in the event and aftermath and that was presented in this DVD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary!!! February 13, 2012
Verified Purchase
Although I may be bias about this movie because I myself am Haitian, but this documentary was great!! It clearly shows the roots of how a country can become the first black independent country!! Although the methods of getting there was crude Toussaint did what he had to do to help free the country from slavery. This movie if watched closely by the people of my country can also help the leaders of my country now. Hopefully everyone can watch this documentary and learn about the history of Haiti.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film September 26, 2009
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A great documentary that is a useful primer for understanding the complex and epochal events surrounding Haitian independence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Afghanistan of Caribbean... March 26, 2014
By NYFB
Caribbean revolution of 1800s with all the superpower of that time, England, France, Spain and US. After 50,000 dead French soldiers, Saint-Domingue a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1809 became Haiti in 1803, the first black republic in the world. Haiti's constitution by Toussaint Louverture in 1802 to decree slavery would not exist in Saint-Domingue was the first in history to prohibit discrimination based on skin color, a milestone that US law would not guarantee for another 150 years.

Jean Jacques Dassalines died in 1803 in a freezing cell in France but before leaving Saint-Domingue he said "You have only cut down the trunk of the liberty tree of the blacks in Saint-Domingue, it will spring back from the roots for there are numerous and deep".

A well down, informative history documentary. Bravo.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary September 9, 2009
By JMA
I really enjoyed watching this documentary with my kids. It helps even people with no backgrounds on Black History develop a clear understanding of who Toussaint Louverture was and his contributions to the freedom of all Black people.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Vague
This documentary is a bit too vague. It does not have depth.
Also, some of the comments are misleading.
PBS could have done a better documentary.
Published 2 months ago by Awilda Acosta
5.0 out of 5 stars all man are created equal
we set the tone for freedom by defeating the napoleon army and spread freedom around America and the world.
Ending slavery and helping others was our goals
Published 3 months ago by CARLO ST JULES
5.0 out of 5 stars Haiti History revealed!
This terrific DVD was ordered to educate our church women, who were studying Haiti culture, history and problems, from a Christian approach to reaching our to the inhabitants to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Pat Mathis
5.0 out of 5 stars Good DVD
It gives a pretty good over view, however it was missing much information about this great period in our history. I wish it would have gone into more about Dasilines.
Published 12 months ago by Nehanda Nzingha Sankofa-Ra
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
I have heard the name before but this documentary brought him to life.
The French, Spainards, and the English sure did bring some terror to all the world. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Reader In Maryland
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
Much information on a little known (rather presented openly) part of Western History. The French, American and Haitian Revolutions are not treated as one unit or tied together as... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sigolo
2.0 out of 5 stars Ennui For All
I purchased this DVD hoping to watch a fascinating and in-depth look at Haiti's amazing but unsung revolutionary period, and instead found a rather dry documentary that merely... Read more
Published on January 19, 2011 by Sconnishman
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