Friday, November 25, 2016

Philippe Girard's "Toussaint Louverture," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Toussaint Louverture: A Revolutionary Life by Philippe Girard.

The entry begins:
Every historian is convinced that their book would make a great Hollywood spectacular. Meet a historian at a conference, and after a couple drinks he or she will inevitably tell you that their 700-page Ph.D. dissertation on 13th century Serbian church steeples could be a blockbuster if only Michael Bay would pick up the script (That is the true “drunk history”).

I am no exception! I am convinced that my biography of Toussaint Louverture, the man who led the only successful slave revolt in world history, would make for an incredible biopic. The Haitian Revolution featured plenty of sex, violence, intriguing characters, stirring speeches, battles, and betrayals. Take all the historical importance of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and liven it up with the blood and gore of Game of Thrones and the layered character studies of Master and Commander. Add some pirates, a Caribbean locale, a Voodoo ceremony, and voilĂ : the Haitian Revolution.

Casting the actor to play Toussaint Louverture would be no easy task: he was a man of incredible depth and complexity, so humanizing him while remaining faithful to his true self would be quite a challenge. I’ve spent over ten years studying him, and even I can’t say that I truly know who the “real” Toussaint Louverture is.

To portray the many facets of his personality, a director could make the radical choice of employing different actors for the different periods of his life. Mahershala Ali, the crafty and ruthless Remy Danton of House of Cards, would be a great early Louverture, when he made his way from lowly slave to...[read on]
Learn more about Toussaint Louverture at the Basic Books website.

My Book, The Movie: Toussaint Louverture.

--Marshal Zeringue