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The Haitian Revolution was the nineteenth-century revolt in a third-world nation in which colored slaves fought for their freedom from colonial masters. Several films and books have been made about the revolt, attempting to capture the manner in which Toussaint Louverture, a black general, conquered the French, Spanish, and British armies. One of the films is titled "The Last Days of Toussaint Luverturehe," and it depicts how the black general struggled after the establishment of the Western world's first black republic until his arrest in his final days (Louverture, 2014). The Haitian Revolution was celebrated by the anti-slavery supporters since it represented a black republic in the Western world before his capture towards his last days (Louverture, 2014).
The Haitian Revolution was celebrated by the anti-slavery supporters since it represented a black republic in the Western hemisphere free from colonial interference. In the film, "The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture" the black slaves are made to work for the French colonialist in the plantations within Haiti. Several slave revolts pushing for equality and liberty as a basic human right lead to the upraising of several Haitian leaders. The first revolution generals betray the black slaves leading to the step up of Toussaint L’Ouverture as the leader of the revolt (Bigelow, 1909). There are two other generals under Toussaint and one of them is Jean-Jacques Dessalines who becomes declares Haiti a sovereign state after the death of Toussaint.
The film depicts the start of Toussaint as a semi-literate general that began participating in the slave rebellion against the French in 1791 when the island was barely recognized by the colonialists. Stationed within the Saint Domingue colony, Toussaint began fighting for the French against the Spanish and British, when they abolished slavery and he gained military skills during this experience. He worked to improve the economy of Haiti in Saint Domingue through political governance to restore the plantation system through a paid labor instead of slavery.
The film shows the struggle of Toussaint as the struggle for peace, justice and equality for all whether black, white, slave or no slave. He fought to ensure that everyone gets a chance to live freely without any oppression and forced labor and this clearly depicts the country accurately. Haiti is a country under struggle suffering from natural disasters like earthquakes with little or no foreign aid and just like the slaves in the film they are left to deal with the calamities that befall them on their own. Colonial nations detested the Haitian revolution for denying them free labor from the black slaves and access to the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.
At first, Haiti is a wealthy nation with vast agricultural resources as seen in the film gaining interest from the European nations such as France, Spain and Britain. The slaves in the film are forced to work on the plantations before the moderate rebellions that peak during the leadership of Toussaint. The period after Haiti is declared a sovereign state, the country is used to dump slaves from other regions such as the United States, which eventually cause the deterioration of the country after repeated conflicts (NgCheong-Lum & Jermyn, 2005). In the film, Toussaint was tricked by the French after signing of treaties that led to his withdrawal from the political governance of Haiti. An accurate representation of these events is given by the film leading to his death in a French prison.
The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture, however, brings in a dramatic end that is inaccurate when the French capturers demand the location of a rumored treasure hidden by Toussaint. The rest of the film displays the important parts of the Haitian revolution according to the rise and fall of the Black Napoleon, the semi-literate general. In conclusion, Haiti is depicted as a place where citizens continue to strive for equality, liberty and sovereignty of everyone regardless of their race, ethnicity or cultural background.
Bigelow, J. (1909). THE LAST DAYS OF TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE. New York: The Baker & Taylor Co.
Louverture, T. (2014). The Memoir of General Toussaint Louverture. Oxford University Press, USA.
NgCheong-Lum, R., & Jermyn, L. (2005). Haiti. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
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