Reginald Lubin is one of the most-loved actor-directors in the Haitian movie business. He’s known as the man who juggles multiple personas and does it with ease. There’s Reginald Lubin the writer and screenwriter as in Pouki Se Mwen, the drama about a college student who gets infected with AIDS. There’s Reginald Lubin, the suave and debonair leading man in La Peur D’Aimer and Vanités, Intrigues, Passions, and finally there’s Reginald Lubin, the refined actor in La Rebelle.
So which Reginald will we see in Kite’m Pale, his newest film? From the look of things, it won’t be the suave and debonair leading man, but the behind-the-scenes multi-tasker. Lubin had publicly stated that his next film would be entitled Lyse. It’s not made clear as of yet whether this Kite’m Pale project is Lyse retitled, or whether Lyse was given backburner status in favor of this new flick.
In any case, with the exception of veteran actress Hughette St. Fleur (better known as Madame Seraphin in Arnold Antonin’s film Piwouli et le Zenglendo, though she also has roles in Alelouya, Le Miracle de la Foi), the entire cast of Kite’m Pale are newcomers, among them Camise Delia, a promising young talent, along with a host of new generation young actors based in Haiti. This latter move will no doubt be appreciated by Haitian movie fans, some of whom are always bemoaning the fact that the same faces tend to be cat in movies, over and over, and over.
Kite’m Pale is in the same vein as La Peur D’Aimer and Pouki Se Mwen, two films that were crafted by Lubin to raise awareness about teen pregnancy and AIDS respectively. Not surprisingly, GHESKIO, a 30-year old organization with a humanitarian mission, is one of the primary backers of the film. One of the admirable things about Lubin’s cinematic works has always been his tendency to weave social issues within his films to the point where viewers are convinced that they are watching a simple fiction film, but in reality they are being served with some poignant social messages. Kite’m Pale touches on everything from domestic violence to sexual and verbal abuse in Haitian society, and apparently is very Lubinesque.
Some will welcome the film, while wishing he were a featured actor among the cast. Lubin’s last role in La Rebelle, demonstrated more than most films that he had done, of what he is capable of as an actor. Of course, he’s come across some criticism, mainly that his roles tend to be an extension of himself. “Reginald Lubin always plays the doctor, the lawyer, the professional man,” is an oft-repeated psalm about the actor. It will be interesting to see how the film measures against Lubin’s past work. Hopefully, Kite’m Pale is swiftly followed by another film from Lubin, and presumably one that showcases his talents as an actor further.