In an age when fansites, blogs and message boards make talking about film as lively and slippery as a bucket of eels, strident critics of films can make their voices heard more loudly than ever; in a bizarre turn of events, though, it seems that a fierce critic of Asger Leth's documentary The Ghosts of Cité Solei is actually posing as the filmmaker himself.

In a story at GreenCine's Daily blog, David D'Arcy tells how last Friday a vehement critique of The Ghosts of Cité Solei titled "Leni Riefenstahl Goes to Haiti" was mailed out from the e-mail address 'asgerleth79' via a well-known free e-mail domain to a number of recipients. D'Arcy contacted the Asger Leth, who explained that he had no link to the e-mail -- and how his documentary's gripping examination of life in Haiti's slums, which is fiercely critical of ex-Haitian president Aristide, has earned the attention and activism of pro-Aristide activists.

Leth's calm about this latest salvo in the campaign against his film: "They want to discredit the film as much as they can, but they're pissing up against a hurricane ..." It's also worth noting that the e-mailed review, credited to Charlie Hinton of the Haiti Action Committee, also turns up on the IMDB boards for The Ghosts of Cité Solei, suggesting a fairly concerted campaign against Leth's film. The piece doesn't offer if the real Leth is pursuing any legal action (I can't imagine how the real Leth would even begin to try and track down the impostor), but it's certainly a bizarre tale of identity and politics in film. ...
categories Cinematical