Review: ‘La Source’

A thinly drawn chronicle of a good man doing good works for his birthplace, "La Source" traces the steps by which hard-working Josue Lajeunesse helps bring running water to a remote Haitian village.

A thinly drawn chronicle of a good man doing good works for his birthplace, “La Source” traces the steps by which hard-working Josue Lajeunesse helps bring running water to the remote Haitian village for which the doc is named and which echoes the local, coveted water source. While the pic scores points for raising awareness of Haiti’s specific, rampant problems with clean water and its effects on general health, it plays blandly and — until the end — without any passion. Pic might hold water in topic-oriented fests and fundraisers.

Having fled La Source and Haiti during the coup-riddled 1990s for the States, Josue juggles two jobs (as a janitor at Princeton by day, and a taxi driver by night) while raising four children on his own. His brother Chrismedonne remains back home, where residents must make a dangerous, three-hour round trip into the mountains to gather water from the nearest well. After the 2010 earthquake (whose widespread damage helmer Patrick Shen and co-lenser Brandon Vedder vividly record), the brothers team up with American relief workers and Princeton fundraisers to build a functioning water system that now serves 5,000 people.

La Source

Documentary

Production

A Transcendental Media presentation in association with All Cut Up Films. Produced by Jordan Wagner, Patrick Shen, Brandon Vedder. Executive producers, Christian Tureaud, David Salzburg, Regina Manian, Nancy Luyen, Jordan Wagner. Co-executive producers, Patrick Pai, David Won, Julian Lee. Co-producer, Greg Bennick. Directed by Patrick Shen. Written, edited by Shen, Brandon Vedder.

Crew

Camera (Color, DV), Shen, Vedder; still photography, Jess Koehler; music, Mateo Messina; sound (Dolby Digital); sound designer/sound re-recording mixer, Steve Bissinger; associate producer, Mary Mathias; second unit camera, David Darg. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Aug. 22, 2012. (In DocuWeeks, Silver Docs film festivals.) Running time: 71 MIN.

With

Josue Lajeunesse, Chrismedonne Lajeunesse, Jordan Wagner, David Darg, Eric Lotz, Li Deng, Lexi Meyer, Michael Muniz. Narrator: Don Cheadle. (English, Haitian Creole dialogue)
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