Stones in the sun

Voices from Haiti  INNERview with screen sisters Edwidge Danticat and Michèle Voltaire Marcelin ~ written by Katia D. Ulysse

Multi-talented powerhouses Edwidge Danticat and Michèle Voltaire Marcelin deliver outstanding performances in Patricia Benoit’s debut film, Wòch nan Solèy (Stones in the sun).

The movie premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival recently. Audiences in the DC Metro area had a chance to see the poignant story on the big screen at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring. There was not a single empty seat in the house.

The film’s title is taken from one of Haiti’s countless proverbs: Wòch nan rivyè pa konn afè wòch nan solèy (Stones in the river cannot know the problem of stones in the sun). Benoit could not have chosen a better title.

Stones in the Sun is packed with irony so raw; the characters are so impeccably realized that I felt more like an accomplice than an audience member. There were moments when I wanted to jump into the screen to warn the characters of impending trouble. After an emotional roller-coaster ride came the realization that it was, indeed, only a movie. But it is the kind of film that stays with you for a long time.

By the time the credits began to roll, I could not wait to ask Edwidge and Michèle a few questions about their movie-making experiences and performances. Both actresses shared their thoughts with me about Stones.  Check out the VoicesfromHaiti INNERviews with the screen-sisters of Stones in the Sun.

Did you know Edwidge Danticat could act?  I didn’t, but I was not surprised when I saw her on the big screen recently. The celebrated author eased into the character’s skin and nailed the part. Danticat embodies the Creative Haitian Spirit. VoicesfromHaiti exists to celebrate just that.

I met Danticat in 2001. She had published a story of mine in an anthology called, The Butterfly’s Way.  Since then, I’ve had the good fortune of working with her a few more times, but I didn’t know about the acting side of this phenomenal woman. When I saw Stones in the Sun, I could not wait to find out more about Danticat, the actress. I figured you might be interested in knowing a few things, too.  So. . .here is  our little Q&A.

INNERview with Edwidge Danticat

Michèle Voltaire Marcelin is constantly on the move. She’s a busy woman, mother, wife, prolific poet, author, performer, painter, actress, teacher, and so much more. In a previous VoicesfromHaiti INNERview, Michèle said “It is not death that has the final say. It is life. Life always triumphs.” Perhaps it is those words that whirled around inside the mind of Micheline, the character Michèle Voltaire Marcelin plays in Patricia Benoit’s touching movie, Stones in the Sun. After having witnessed an unforgettable act of violence, Micheline enfolds herself in life–however banal it may seem to her screen sister played by Edwidge Danticat.

I am always fascinated by Michèle Voltaire Marcelin. I could not wait to understand her thoughts behind the performance. Here is what she had to say:

INNERview with Michèle Voltaire Marcelin

For more information about Haitian director Patricia Benoit and her new film, Stone in the Sun,  follow this link.

Check out previous VoicesfromHaiti INNERviews with E. Danticat and M. V. Marcelin; M. V. Marcelin Part 2


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