Film Review: Back to Haiti, Finding Identity in Emotional ‘Lakay’

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CHICAGO – Understanding identity is a lifelong pursuit. When two U.S. immigrant brothers – and filmmakers – go back to to their native Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, they find much more than expected. Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo documented their journey in the new film “Lakay.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

The documentary begins in cold Chicago, on the front porch of a multi-flat building where Alexius and Romeo first lived as kids when they moved to the urban Midwest. Alexius starts talking about his embarrassment regarding his heritage during his early years in America – he would tell people he was French or had other origins, but avoided his Haitian roots. This is the jumping-off point for the story of Alexius and Romeo, returning to their Caribbean homeland after 28 years, to find their half-brothers in the aftermath of the crushing earthquake in Haiti. In their delicate and emotional journey, the contrast of homecoming and understanding what home means becomes the energy of “Lakay.” The film is an affecting and heartfelt voyage of two souls finding something about themselves that they didn’t know existed…until they went home.

Tirf Alexius and Remoh Romeo are brothers and business partners. They have found the American dream after their humble beginnings as boys from Haiti, adapting as adults in the urban environment of Chicago. When their mother calls and informs them of the earthquake in 2010 (“Haiti is broken”), they become determined to go back to the island for the first time since they left as children, to find relatives and bring aid to the earthquake victims.

When they get to Haiti, they find a country reeling from massive destruction – the earthquake registered a catastrophic 7.0 on the Richter Scale. Government and outside aid was in disarray, and even getting around was difficult. As the brothers searched for their relatives, they found their childhood home still standing, they gained an understanding on how their fellow Haitians survive, and they created a fulfillment within themselves that they was both unexpected and rewarding.

“Lakay” opens in select markets, including Chicago and Miami, on October 17th. See local listings for theater and show times. Written by and featuring Tirf Alexius, Remoh Romeo and Hugh Grady. Directed by Tirf Alexius. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Lakay”

Tirf Alexius, Remoh Romeo
Remoh Romeo and Tirf Alexius Explore Their Haitian Childhood Home in ‘Lakay’
Photo credit: 4 Features Film Co.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Lakay”

markdanderson's picture

After the earthquake, they

After the earthquake, they have too much hurdles and problems, this documentary “Lakay” consists their whole journey and the way they survive their life at that difficult time.

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