Alfred Avril is an aging farmer from the hills of Haiti. He has lived through dictatorships, droughts, military interventions and even the devastating earthquake of 2010. Through it all he has drawn strength from the very tool he uses to work his land – the machete.

Known to everyone in his hilltop community as “Professor”, Avril is one of the few living masters of the esoteric and slowly vanishing martial art Tire Machét – Haitian machete fencing. Whereas Haitian slaves once used this martial art to defeat Napoleon’s armies, it is now slowly becoming a relic of the past, a peasant art that fewer and fewer young Haitians care to learn.

Despite this, Avril continues to teach this art while struggling to provide for his family by selling the few crops he can grow on his arid land. Papa Machete is a revelation of the proud history behind the poverty of modern Haiti, and will forever change how you see this ravaged island.


This film made its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, its U.S. premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and its European premiere at the 2015 Sheffield Doc Fest.

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