Ghosts Of Cit Soleil review

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

Ignore the sunny name: a two-hour plane-hop from Florida, Haitian slum Cité Soleil is one of the poorest, rawest places on the planet. And the ghosts in question are ‘chimères’: heavily armed thugs employed by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to crush opposition movements.

Shot in 2004 (Aristide’s last year in office), this documentary by Asger Leth (son of veteran Danish director Jørgen) convulses with a barrage of frenzied lenswork, jagged edits and a parched, fuzzy palette. Trouble is, the style’s so cluttered that it’s hard to find a clear path through the narrative, which divides between Bily and 2pac – brothers, gang-leaders and rivals for the affections of French aid worker Lele (whose backstory is barely thumbnailed). Still, captured at hair-raisingly close quarters by the fearless filmmakers, the sense of lawlessness grabs the throat and haunts the mind.

More info

Available platformsMovie

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.