1804 Hidden History of Haiti Review

Tariq Nasheed’s ‘1804’ Review from Indy Premiere — “Gritty and Necessary”

This review is a special Affiliate Contribution from Ebonye M.J. Crowe, Ed. M, Guest Writer. (ebonye.crowe@gmail.com)

Tariq Nasheed, New York Times bestselling author and film producer of the Hidden Colors documentary series, did not disappoint with his new feature film, 1804: The Hidden History of Haiti.  Indianapolis was one of over 20 cities that held an Opening Night showing of the production, which took place at The Glendale Mall Cinema.

1804 also premiered across the country October 19th in select theaters. The demand for tickets to the exclusive event led to sell-outs prior to screening, and packed theaters premiere night. 1804 is a documentary film about the untold history of the Haitian Revolution. The movie goes in-depth about the four principal players who were instrumental in Haiti’s independence: Makandal, Dutty Boukman, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines. The film gives a compelling historical narrative of the strategies used to overthrow French colonization and oppression with brilliance, spirituality, and guerrilla warfare.

1804 hidden history haiti

In usual fashion, Nasheed called on great historians and scholars to bring this film to life and engage the audience with expertise. Dr. Kaba Hiawatha Kamene, Dr. Wade Nobles, and Haitian historian and professor, Bayyinah E. Bello are just a few who detailed historical accounts that take us back in time to grasp Haiti’s gritty, but necessary fight for liberation and sovereignty. Musician, Wyclef Jean and activist Akala, also joined the cast dispelling myths and historical inaccuracies, primarily written to downplay this momentous event in world history.

1804 a hidden history of haiti review

The film bridges the gap between pre-1804 and the state of present-day Haiti. It captures the deconstruction, unharnessed wealth, and politics. Nasheed’s thoroughness went unnoticed in the production of this film. The cinematography-animation, reenactments, and scoring materialized the movie to provide us with a vivid reality of the war against white supremacy “by any means necessary”.

1804: The Hidden History of Haiti is a film that will leave you inspired to fight until victory in any context of life. Most importantly, the world needs to know that the Haitian Revolution was not a blip in history. In fact, it plays a critical role in the current fight against oppression. The film concretely echoes the words of Gill Scott Heron, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. Hidden and buried was where the history of the Haitian Revolution was to remain.

Thanks to this film and historians leading up to its conception, we have evidence of how the Haitian Revolution could have sparked a global revolution among oppressed people. The replication of the revolution had the potential to turn the global economic power structure on its head, abolish slavery and oppression, and propel the acquisition of independence and sovereignty.