In the northern Haitian city of Cap-Ha tien resides the country s oldest and most beloved band, Orchestre Septentrional. Founded in 1948 by Ulrick Pierre Louis, this rotating mix of Haiti s finest musicians has toured New York City, Toronto, Montreal and Paris, delivering a m lange of traditional voodoo music and Latin rhythms. It s the Haitian people s band and it has outlasted all of the country s political leaders. Yet this documentary is about more than the music. Since gaining independence and wealth in 1804, Haiti, the world s first black republic, has become the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, one that yearns for a promising future. When the Drum Is Beating offers a deeper understanding into the survival of Haitian culture and Septentrional through the country s turbulent history. Award-winning director Whitney Dow (Two Towns of Jasper) delivers a humane and truly exceptional rendering of Haiti s pride, resistance, despair and rich artistic tradition.
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