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"The Invisible Wounds of Exile": Stones in the Sun Haitian director Patricia Benoît: Interview
Liza Béar: I assume you have lived in Haiti at one point.
Patricia Benoît: I left as a child in the sixties.
LB: How old were you when you left?
LB: Did you go back a lot?
PB: I’ve been back, yeah. My family was exiled, but then about…13 years after leaving I went back for a first visit and [since then] I’ve been back a lot. I’ve done a lot of work in Haiti. I’ve done documentation work with grassroots groups. I’ve done theater in a school with kids in a sort of very disadvantaged neighborhood, and kids who were not in school.
The story that I’m telling had been brewing in my mind for a very long time. And it’s a story that I felt I could only tell through fiction, because I wanted to talk about something that was…very intimate. And I don’t think I could have done that in a documentary.
One of the things that I wanted to talk about was the invisible wounds of exile. And that’s something that I’ve lived with ever since I was little. There’s that initial trauma that sends people out of their countries of origin. And I wanted to look at how that trauma, the pain of that trauma sort of radiates, in small and large ways. And how it affects people in their intimate lives.
LB: Pain is something that everyone wants to forget. They don’t want to keep it in the social and civil society.