+ "The Ghosts of CitÃ© Soleil": Danish filmmaker Asger Leth dove into what the U.N. has called the most dangerous place on earth, the titular slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to make this doc, which centers on two brothers, gangleaders and would-be hip-hop artists. The film "is only barely coherent as a documentary," writes Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly, "but then, I’m not sure I’d even use that word to describe it. It’s closer to a bulletin: nerve-shattered fragments from the edge." These sentiments are echoed by J. Hoberman at the Village Voice, who wonders at the access given the filmmaker: "One citizen of CitÃ© Soleil stares dispassionately into the lens and
tells the filmmaker, ‘I feel like killing you to take the camera.’ It’s
not difficult to believe he would. Every documentary has its own
process; in this case, that backstory might overwhelm the film."
At the New York Times, A.O. Scott feels that Leth "seems to have been seduced" by his subjects: "In spite of occasional gestures in the direction of political or sociological context â€” interviews with anti-Aristide activists, news images of battles beyond CitÃ© Soleil â€” he is not, in the end, much concerned with offering an analysis of the Haitian situation. Like Lele, heâ€™d rather have a party with the thugs." On a similar note, Andrew O’Hehir at Salon notes that the film "has already been attacked (mostly from the left) for its nihilism, with one Haitian-exile site describing it as ‘a stylized, decontextualized, postmodern, sexy/violent piece of propaganda.’" He finds that Leth "suggests that Haitian politics — perhaps all politics, period — always boils down to brutal, territorial gangsterism, and that in this respect Aristide was no better or worse than his enemies."
At indieWIRE, Nick Pinkerton notes that the films’ visual stylings sometimes seems to need only "a few cutaways to Akon to be ready for MTV consumption," but finds that "The almost complete eschewal of social and political contextualization aside, there are occasions when the film comes through on the level of pure visceral experience – as a portrait of jumbled, sordid life in the lower depths wracked by cataracts of senseless violence, a human hell to recall Stephen Crane’s slum stories."