Research Trip 2: March 2012

Le Manoir Alexandra interiors. March 2012

In March 2012, with a generous grant from the RISD Academic Affairs, I traveled to Jacmel with a film student, Andreas Nicholas, BFA 2014. 

March 25, 2012 by Nathalie:

We reached Jacmel’s main plaza after climbing the stepped corridor. It was a Sunday afternoon and everybody was out enjoying the final hours of the weekend. The sun was setting, casting long shadows on the clay-colored plaza tiles. Andreas explained that this time of the afternoon is called the ‘golden hour’ or ‘magic hour’ for filmmakers. Seeing Le Manoir Alexandra in this time of the day truly felt special. 

March 26, 2012  by Andreas:

The building looked pretty amazing from the outside but the inside was even more of a sight to be seen. We were greeted outside the house by Joel, the well built, enthusiastic, middle-aged gardener for the house. In Haiti the term ‘gardener’ can mean anything from groundskeeper, to dish washer, to house keeper. He took us into the house: the way the colors reflected and rays of light entered through the cracks in the walls and holes in the ceiling was just incredible. Touring through the house with Nathalie was also a very special experience. She knows everything about every corner of the house and seeing her interact with the house was very cool to see. I could almost feel the historical energy surrounding the house. The smell was slightly musty and tired but that was okay because the house was being worked on and its current owner is doing his best to restore it to its original state. Joel took us through all of the rooms in the house, occasionally pointing out where certain details would be. He then took us to the wine cellar in the basement and showed us around the garden, part of which was being used to house the ‘temporary’ city court. The court was a long white tent.


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