Pras Michel of the Fugees hosts private screening on his new documentary, Sweet Mickey for President.
On Friday night, talented musician and activist Pras Michel of the Fugees hosted a private screening of his new documentary, Sweet Mickey For President. The event was held at the Friar’s Club in New York City, followed by an extensive Q&A session hosted by Cathy Lee Jones. The film was produced by Michel’s company, A Prasperity Group Production, which also granted awards to special guests and figures for outstanding strides in the political and humanitarian world.
Sweet Mickey For President follows Michel on his journey to his homeland of Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, which devastated the country. What he found was a country in dire need of a leader free of corruption and the demand for an unfixed election where Haitians can vote and see change. His solution? Take one of the most famous, controversial and outrageous Haitian musicians and turn him into a politician. Sweet Mickey, or Michel Martelly, rocked Haiti’s musical scene for years with politically driven lyrics and a vision for a better Haiti. Together, Pras and Martelly attempt to separate celebrity from presidency and convince a country of more than 10 million people to look past his days of dancing in his underwear on stage and see an honest man who wants to bring civil unrest to a halt. The film gracefully incorporates satire while illustrating how music and politics can powerfully combine to ultimately change a country’s history.
The film, directed by Ben Patterson, will appear at The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival later this month. It was proudly awarded the Audience Award for Documentary Feature at this year’s 31st annual Slamdance Film Festival Awards.
It is evident that Pras Michel put plenty of blood, sweat and tears into this profoundly moving documentary. Cathy Lee Jones proudly announced during the Q&A session that Michel funded the entire film himself, which is almost as noble as his sheer commitment to the movement in general. He used his masters in music to try to help a country filled with deep and established corruption, something almost unfathomable in the cut and dry political scene that we are so often exposed to.
Although the outcome of the election and the storyline was no surprise to anyone who follows politics in Haiti, the film explores deeper themes like the power of unity. Pras and ex Fugees member, Wyclef Jean, found themselves reunited through Martelly’s candidacy after almost 15 years of an unstable friendship.
The Friar’s Club provided audience members with an elegant and intimate screening session, a full bar and plenty of appetizers. There were many thanks to the people who inspired the story and helped make the film happen, as well as a plethora of inspirational speeches.
It’s hard to imagine someone with such a prosperous and accomplished past to be as genuinely humble and coy as Pras when behind the microphone. He is uninterested in the fame and notoriety of his accomplishments, and instead prefers to blend in and allow his deeds to speak for themselves. During the Q&A he spoke of his desire to better the world with the blessings he has received in his fortunate life and an overall quest for a more fair and peaceful world.