Through the grassroots campaign of electoral hopeful Rosa Iris, director Michèle Stephenson's new documentary reveals the depths of racial hatred and institutionalized oppression that divide Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
SYNOPSISIn 2013, the Dominican Republic's Supreme Court stripped the citizenship of anyone with Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929. The ruling rendered more than 200,000 people stateless, without nationality, identity or a homeland.
Michèle Stephenson's new documentary, STATELESS, traces the complex tributaries of history and present-day politics, as state-sanctioned racism seeps into mundane offices, living room meetings, and street protests. Anyone defending marginalized groups faces threats of violence. In this dangerous climate, a young attorney named Rosa Iris mounts a grassroots campaign, challenging electoral corruption and advocating for social justice. As Rosa balances her congressional run with her dedication to her family and community, the full scope of her fight is revealed.
Filmed in chiaroscuro colors, and shot through with elements of magical realism, STATELESS, combines gritty hidden-camera footage with the legend of a young woman fleeing brutal violence to flip the narrative axis, revealing the depths of institutionalized oppression.
DIRECTOR: Michèle Stephenson
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Joe Brewster, Anita Lee, Sudz Sutherland
PRODUCER: Michèle Stephenson, Jennifer Holness, Lea Marin
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alfredo Alcántara, Tito Rodriguez
EDITOR: Sophie Farkas-Bolla
CAST: Rosa Iris Diendomi-Álvarez, Teofilo Murat, Gladys Feliz
SUPPORTED BY: The National Film Board of Canada, Telefilm Canada, Sundance Institute, Tribeca Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Guggenheim Foundation.