Papa Machete 2014

Jonathan David Kane

200 years ago, the slaves of Haiti defeated Napoleon's armies in the historic revolution of 1791-1804. One of their weapons was the very tool they used to work the land: the machete. Papa Machete explores the esoteric martial art that evolved through this victory through the practice and life of a farmer named Alfred Avril. The short film documents his proud devotion to his heritage in the face of bitter poverty, and his efforts to keep this mysterious art alive.

Jonathan David Kane created this film for Borscht 8


Toronto Film Festival, 2014


"The short is both poetic and absurd; observant and human." - Miami New Times

"The outstanding cinematography and revealing insight of the subjects make Papa Machete a fascinating chronicle of history and legacy as the spiritual element of the martial art forms the heart of Kane’s approach." - POV Magazine


Toronto International Film Festival, 2014
Sundance Film Festival, 2015
Miami International Film Festival, 2015
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), 2016
Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2015 (Winner, Best Documentary)
Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, 2015 (Winner, Best Documentary Short)
Haiti Film Festival, 2015
Gasparilla Film Festival, 2015
Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, 2016
Havana Film Festival, 2015
FEMI Guadeloupe International Film Festival, 2016
Sheffield Documentary Festival, 2015
Traverse City Film Festival, 2015
Maryland International Film Festival, 2015
Treefort Film Festival, 2015
New Voices in Black Cinema, 2015
Nashville Film Festival, 2015
Blackstar Film Festival, 2015
Little Rock Film Festival, 2015
Ambulante Film Festival, 2015
Regard sur La Court Film Festival, 2015
Key West Film Festival, 2015
Minneapolis Underground Film Festival, 2015
Rooftop Films Summer Series, 2015
Brooklyn Museum, 2015
Eastern Oregon Film Festival, 2015
Indie Grits Film Festival, 2014
Timehri Film Festival, 2016


Borscht Corp presents

Papa Machete

a film by Jason Fitzroy Jeffers, Keisha Rae Witherspoon & Jonathan David Kane

director: Jonathan David Kane

writers: Jason Fitzroy Jeffers & Keisha Rae Witherspoon

director of photography: Richard Patterson

co-producer: Joey Daoud

Sound Design: Joel C. Hernandez

special thanks: Professor Alfred Avril, Third Horizon, The Haitian Machete Fencing Project

commissioned by Borscht Corp.

2014 Miami, FL, USA

Made possible by the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation