US actor Danny Glover, who plans an epic next year on Haitian independence hero Toussaint-Louverture, said he slaved to raise funds for the movie because financiers complained there were no white heroes.
“Producers said ‘It’s a nice project, a great project… where are the white heroes?’” he told the press during a stay in Paris this month for a seminar on film.
“I couldn’t get the money here, I couldn’t get the money in Britain. I went to everybody. You wouldn’t believe the number of producers based in Europe, and in the States, that I went to,” he said.
D”The first question you get, is ‘Is it a black film?’ All of them agree, it’s not going to do good in Europe, it’s not going to do good in Japan.
“Somebody has to prove that to be a lie!”, he said. “Maybe I’ll have the chance to prove it.”
“Toussaint,” Glover’s first project as film director, is about Francois Dominique Toussaint Louverture (1743-1803), a former slave and one of the fathers of Haiti’s independence from France in 1804, making it the first black nation to throw off imperial rule and become a republic.
The uprising he led was bloodily put down in 1802 by 20,000 soldiers dispatched to the Caribbean by Napoleon Bonaparte, who then re-established slavery after its ban by the leaders of the French Revolution.
Due to be shot in Venezuela early next year, the film will star Don Cheadle, Mos Def, Wesley Snipes and Angela Bassett.
Gon’ Danny Glover, make that film. I promise to go see it.