A Dominican-Haitian Love Story Made in the Heights

The team behind "Mari en Maraña" – writers Lourdes Carrasco and Ian Jackson of Washington Heights. (Photo by Sherry Mazzocchi via Manhattan Times)

The team behind “Mari en Maraña” – writers Lourdes Carrasco and Ian Jackson of Washington Heights. (Photo by Sherry Mazzocchi via Manhattan Times)

After meeting by chance on the subway, Washington Heights residents Lourdes Carrasco and Ian Jackson are producing a “Romeo and Juliet”-inspired film on a Dominican freshman in college who falls in love with a young Haitian man, called “Mari en Maraña.” Manhattan Times’ Sherry Mazzocchi reports, however, that it’s not so much a remaking of the story. Rather, according to Jackson:

“We are using this as a lens to view what’s happening in the culture,” he said. “It’s about race, identity, history, politics and sexuality—and how it affects the immigrant experience here.”

(…)

“We want to spark some conversations between Haitians and Dominicans and relationships to the broader culture,” said Jackson.

When Mari’s family members come to learn of her relationship with a Haitian man, they bring their own individual perspectives on Dominican history, and love.

“Within Dominican culture—in her family—her having an interest in a black man—a Haitian black man—is a very big deal,” Jackson said, alluding to the “maraña,” or the entanglement, in the story.

Why do Carrasco, herself from the Dominican Republic, and Jackson say that the film is particularly relevant now? How will they fund the project and what are their future plans for the film? Find out at Manhattan Times.

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