FIN REVIEW: Zo Reken provides uncompromising picture into Haitian politics

This interesting look at neocolonialism won the Best Canadian Documentary award at the 2021 Hot Docs Festival.

It follows a 4×4 Sedan — affectionately-dubbed Zo Reken — that has been hacked in Port-au-Prince.

The aid workers discuss the ways the aid organization – who the Sedan belongs to – have made promises and not kept them.

Writer-director Emanuel Licha creates an interesting look into the ideals and feelings about the culture and issues facing the Haitian community.

Driver Pascal Antoine has the task of navigating through what people are facing every day – both during conversations with his passengers and along the road. With blockades up, there’s never a clear path, just like there’s no fixed answer to solve the problems explored.

It’s incredible to see the way a humanitarian organization is portrayed, as this sort of unflinching honesty isn’t something you’d expect. Montreal filmmaker Licha just lets subjects speak, and the issues bubble to the forefront.

While there isn’t much action – and the film falters at times because of it – what’s clear is that putting journalist and video producer in the driver’s seat has helped spur some conversation.

It’s a film that takes an unflinching look at Haiti and the issues aid organizations aren’t fixing, and director Licha isn’t afraid to let uncomfortable conversations stand.

3.5/5 Stars

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