HOTEL HAITI

This film delves into the magical and tragic world of Haiti and tells of the stories that surround the time-honoured Hotel Oloffson.

On the hills above the city, a white villa embellished with decorative turrets and gables sits amidst a park surrounded by palm trees – an image from a fairytale. The “Hotel Oloffson” is a place steeped in history and numerous personal stories. Prominent foreign guests who have stayed here include actors Humphrey Bogart and Marlon Brando as well as Graham Greene, Truman Capote, Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton. From one of the building’s many balconies you can see the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, where misery grew constantly over the past 60 years and which was devastated by the earthquake of January 2010. However, the legendary “Hotel Oloffson” wondrously survived the quake. During the day the Oloffson merely swelters in the heat, but as soon as the sun goes down, its guests along with wealthy Haitians meet for sundowners at the bar or the veranda and suddenly the hotel becomes alive. These are magical hours, where reality, fiction and dreams seem to mingle. This documentary is a collection of anecdotes involving the hotel, its owner and guests and provides a snapshot of the everchanging history of Haiti in the 20th century.

Genre Society / Feature Documentary
Length 90' HD
Film by Alma Barkey
Production Florianfilm for WDR/ARTE
Original Title Hotel Haiti
Year 2011

This film delves into the magical and tragic world of Haiti and tells of the stories that surround the time-honoured Hotel Oloffson.

On the hills above the city, a white villa embellished with decorative turrets and gables sits amidst a park surrounded by palm trees – an image from a fairytale. The “Hotel Oloffson” is a place steeped in history and numerous personal stories. Prominent foreign guests who have stayed here include actors Humphrey Bogart and Marlon Brando as well as Graham Greene, Truman Capote, Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton. From one of the building’s many balconies you can see the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, where misery grew constantly over the past 60 years and which was devastated by the earthquake of January 2010. However, the legendary “Hotel Oloffson” wondrously survived the quake. During the day the Oloffson merely swelters in the heat, but as soon as the sun goes down, its guests along with wealthy Haitians meet for sundowners at the bar or the veranda and suddenly the hotel becomes alive. These are magical hours, where reality, fiction and dreams seem to mingle. This documentary is a collection of anecdotes involving the hotel, its owner and guests and provides a snapshot of the everchanging history of Haiti in the 20th century.

Society / Feature Doc
Length: 90’ HD
Film by Alma Barkey
Production: Florianfilm for WDR/ARTE, 2011
Original title: Hotel Haiti