Lift Up: Documentary Film in Search of Music

Kylti, a nonprofit organization created to sustain and advance Haitian arts, culture, and life, is looking to raise $15,000 for the editing and music of Lift Up, a documentary film by Philip Knowlton and Huguens Jean.

Synopsis: In Haiti, the wind comes in the spring, and everywhere on the rooftops there are people of all ages flying kites, some made out of plastic, others covered in a mass of thin colored paper. Kite flying in Haiti is more than just a hobby undertaken only by the young and those few hard-core fanatics; it is a deep-seated tradition. On Good Friday it becomes difficult to make out the sky behind the sheet of colors bobbing to and fro in the air. For this resilient and indomitable people, kite flying has come to signify hope, and the many colors as the plumes of the phoenix, reborn from the proverbial ashes.

In the aftermath of the recent earthquake, however, the ashes are no longer proverbial; they are now real. This documentary follows two young brothers, Clifford Muse and Huguens Jean, as they return to Haiti, the country of their birth. They have returned home to pay their final respects and fulfill a promise to their grandfather, Andre Torchon, who passed away shortly after the quake. The stories they tell in this documentary assign faces and souls among their fellow countrymen and before the world to the 200,000+ dead as a result of the earthquake.

Clifford and Huguens bring with them a kite to memorialize and lift up the memory of their grandfather. The survivors they visit and interview will provide pieces of the kite that Clifford and Huguens are fashioning. When their memorial kite is finally flown at the 44th Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival in Washington, D.C., it will become evident that the hands which hold the string could be the hands of any of these survivors, and the string they pull close to their chest could represent the tie that binds those down below to their loved ones up above.

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