Alyssa Sepinwall

Dr. Alyssa Sepinwall

Episode Description

In Slave Revolt on Screen: The Haitian Revolution in Film and Video Games, Dr. Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall analyzes how films and video games from around the world have depicted slave revolt, focusing on the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804). 

Despite Hollywood’s near-silence on this event, some films on the Revolution do exist—from directors in Haiti, the US, France, and elsewhere. Slave Revolt on Screen offers the first-ever comprehensive analysis of Haitian Revolution cinema, including completed films and planned projects that were never made. In addition to studying cinema, this book also breaks ground in examining video games, a pop-culture form long neglected by historians. Sepinwall scrutinizes video game depictions of the Haitian slave revolt that appear in games like the Assassin’s Creed series that have reached millions more players than comparable films.

In analyzing films and games on the revolution, Slave Revolt on Screen calls attention to the ways that economic legacies of slavery and colonialism warp pop-culture portrayals of the past and leave audiences with distorted understandings.

The book draws upon a sweeping range of films and video games (a new genre) on or about the Revolution as well as personal relationships and interviews with some recent filmmakers. Yet the skillful hand of the historian is omnipresent as Sepinwall brilliantly weaves together the history of the Haitian Revolution and the history of filmmaking about it, urgently calling for the yet-to-come masterpiece film on this historically epic Black liberation struggle for freedom.”

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