Peck, Raoul. Film maker – Grew up in Zaire where his parents had emigrated to escape the Duvalier dictatorship when he was eight years old. Graduated from the Berlin Film and Television Academy in 1988. Received international acclaim including best film at the 1994 Milan African Film Festival for L’Homme sur les Quais (1993), a moody and dark film set in a sleepy fictional Haitian town where the dictatorship of Francois Duvalier is viewed through the eyes of a young girl.
His other films include Haitian Corner (1987) about a man who, after seven years in a Haitian prison enduring physical and psychological torture, resettles in New York where he encounters his torturers on the streets of Brooklyn, and Corps Plongés (1997) also set in New York which explores a female pathologist’s tangled relationships with two men; one, the exiled Haitian Minister of Health, the other, a married US politician. Peck was appointed Haiti’s Minister of Culture in early 1996, but resigned in October 1997.
Lumumba, a film about the life and murder of Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, won the Paul Robeson prize for the best film by a director of African descent outside the continent at the 17th Pan-African Cinema and Television Film Festival in February 2001.
Peck is the founder of the Fondation Forum Eldorado, dedicated to cultural development in Haiti and the Caribbean and working with schools and underprivileged communities in Haiti. For the work of the Fondation, Peck bought a movie theatre called the Eldorado near the Oloffson Hotel in Port-au-Prince. With the help of contributions, the theatre has become one of the rare local facilities affordable to local artists and schools.
Raoul Peck lives and works in Voorhees, New Jersey, in Paris, France, and in the tiny town of Port-a-Piment, south-west Haiti.