Apátrida (Stateless)

Dir. Michèle Stephenson; Prod. Jennifer Holness; Executive Prod. Joe Brewster


A small Caribbean island, hosts two nations, both beautiful in culture, but tragic in history.

In 1937 the Dominican Army massacred an estimated 18,000 Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. Now fast-forward to year 2013, where 200,000 people born in the Dominican Republic have been left stateless as a result of the country’s court ruling that strips the citizenship of individuals born in the country of Haitian parents, retroactive to 1929.

As a contemporary legacy of the genocidal act of 1937, we follow three families impacted by the recent Supreme Court ruling and examine the decision that undermines a tension from years past.

Using impressionistic cinematic language and elements of magical realism, Apátrida (Stateless) follows the day-to-day lives of people directly impacted by the 2013 Dominican Republic Supreme Court decision that strips Dominican birthright citizenship from individuals of Haitian heritage born in that country. The film challenges fixed notions of culture and identity and how this exclusionary policy continues to be an extension of the violent history of a racial system that plagues the collective imagination rooted in colonial thought.

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