Cristo Rey

Janvier is a good-natured young man living in the town of Cristo Rey (Christ the Redeemer) in the Dominican Republic. The son of a Haitian mother and Dominican father, Janvier, like so many Haitian-Dominicans, is the constant target of casual discrimination and police harassment. After his mother is deported to Haiti, he is desperate to reunite with her in Port-au-Prince. Reluctantly he takes a job with a gang leader, El Bacá, as a bodyguard to Jocelyn, El Bacá’s sister. Soon the youngsters are in the grip of a clandestine love affair. As Janvier becomes more entwined with both Jocelyn and El Bacá, he is forced to make a difficult, dangerous decision. Inspired by Romeo and Juliet, Leticia Tonos Paniagua’s enthralling and energetic film updates Shakespeare’s play to a contemporary Caribbean setting, with a fresh, urgent take on the classic story that makes it feel as though it’s been ripped from the daily headlines.

Cristo Rey (2013)




Spanish and Haitian Creole, with English subtitles




Leticia Tonos Paniagua

Leticia Tonos Paniagua

Leticia Tonos Paniagua

Leticia Tonos Paniagua was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She completed her studies at the London Film School, where her thesis was an adaptation of the Junot Díaz short story “Ysrael”. La hija natural (2010; ttff/11), her first feature, was the Dominican Republic’s entry to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Cristo Rey (2013) is her most recent film.

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