Richard Morse’s Haiti (2004): Haitian music star Richard Morse takes us on a tour of his home country and discusses the role of RAM’s music and the state of the nation’s politics.
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RAM’s music has become a refuge for the impoverished masses. Blending pop and voodoo, it features oddly shaped instruments, fire rituals and writhing bodies. Just as in traditional voodoo ceremonies, RAM’s fans apparently become possessed by the spirits of their ancestors. These divine spirits are supposed to guide and protect mortals. The lyrics of RAM’s songs are themselves lifted from ancient voodoo texts. In recent years Morse has begun to transcend the role of national pop icon. The texts in his most popular songs have widely been interpreted as criticisms of the Haitian government. This has resulted in a flurry of rather sinister threats. Morse claims that he was even the victim of an assassination attempt during a carnival. While his own popularity continues to swell and that of the government recedes, he remains a fearful challenge to Haiti’s ruling body.
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Visible World Films – Ref. 2061