A Haitian Princeton janitor returns to his country after the devastating 2010 earthquake to revive his lifelong dream to bring what is most fundamental to his village's survival; clean water
A Haitian Princeton janitor returns to his country after the devastating 2010 earthquake to revive his lifelong dream to bring what is most fundamental to his village's survival; clean water
A Haitian Princeton janitor returns to his country after the devastating 2010 earthquake to revive his lifelong dream to bring what is most fundamental to his village's survival; clean water
A Haitian Princeton janitor returns to his country after the devastating 2010 earthquake to revive his lifelong dream to bring what is most fundamental to his village's survival; clean water
Running time: 71 and 56 minutes

Narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Crash), in what The Washington Post calls an "artfully shot documentary," La Source tells the uplifting story of Josue Lajuenesse, a Haitian Princeton janitor who returns to his country after the devastating 2010 earthquake to revive his lifelong dream to bring what is most fundamental to his village's survival; clean water.

In La Source (pronounced lah-soos), Haiti water does not come easily. Each day, villagers of this small, rural community must choose between enduring a long, treacherous walk to retrieve clean water or drink contaminated water from a nearby river. For over 30 years, the villagers have attempted to address this problem by constructing a means of channeling the water from a natural spring in the mountains, but with limited funding and an unsupportive government their attempts to provide clean water were to no avail.

Since he was a teenager, Josue Lajeunesse, along with his brother Chrismedonne have dreamt of remedying this problem for their people. In 1989, Josue moved from La Source to New Jersey where he found employment as a custodian at Princeton University. His custodial work and second job as a taxi driver, which total close to 20 hours a day, allows him to send money home to La Source so that he and Chrismedonne, a bricklayer in La Source, could work on channeling the water from the mountain into their village.

First introduced to audiences in Director Patrick Shen’s critically-acclaimed and multiple awardwinning documentary, The Philosopher Kings, Josue Lajeunesse has inspired thousands through his story of selflessness and resilience. Since the sold-out premiere screenings of The Philosopher Kings at AFI-Discovery Channel’s Silverdocs Film Festival in 2009, audiences everywhere have rallied around Josue and donated to his cause of completing a fresh water system for the inhabitants of La Source. “It was at our Silverdocs Q&A that I had the realization that my involvement with Josue’s story was far from over,” says Shen. “The first hand that went up led to a whole discussion about how others could get involved with Josue and his efforts to bring water to La Source and that became a recurring thing at every screening of the film.” Amidst all of this, a massive earthquake ravaged Haiti in 2010 and sent the country into a tailspin while the rest of the globe sprung into action to come to its aid. Meanwhile for Shen and his team, what began as a humanitarian endeavor to help Josue, quickly evolved into a new follow up film about Josue, his return to Haiti for the first time post-earthquake, and his decades-long struggle to save the people of his village. “We were unsure as to whether or not this would become a film someday. We just knew something powerful and amazing was happening.”

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Quotes

“Some documentaries just make you feel good about the world and the people in it and 'La Source' is definitely one of those."
-Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times

"Patrick Shen's artfully shot documentary.."
-Stephanie Murrey, Washington Post

"Directed by Patrick Shen and narrated by the lovely Don Cheadle with music scored by Sigur Ros, LaSource is cut from exceptional talent."
-Huffington Post

“A really beautiful movie that I could totally see getting into the conversation around Oscar time.”
-ComingSoon.net

Fascinating and affecting.”
-Steve Pond, The Wrap

“an uplifting story of humanitarianism and development stemming from the local level."
-IndieWire

"(****) 'La Source" is a real life fairytale, where a once hopeless romantic ideal catches fire and ultimately, the dream comes true."
-Reel Georgia

"I’ve seen this movie twice, and there were tears and cheers both times."
-Dan Schindel, Current Movie Reviews

"This film offers terrific images that allude to internal states, loneliness and worry, resolve and poise."-Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters

"...one has to be the most dedicated of cynics to remain unmoved.."
-Scott Wold, Paste Magazine  

 


Showing 6 reactions

commented 2013-03-27 15:48:58 -0700 · Flag
“Millions of people die each year due to a lack of access to clean water. This is the leading cause of death worldwide—by far the biggest international health crisis of our time, and yet most students are simply unaware of its existence. This film will not only raise awareness of this dire issue, but it will undoubtedly inspire students to take action and help save countless lives. It is not to be missed.”
K.R.
Elementary School Teacher
Los Angeles Unified School District
commented 2013-03-27 15:48:44 -0700 · Flag
“As educators, we talk about 21st Century Learning, Common Core standards and the importance of character education. La Source introduces students to real world problems and gives them a glimpse into taking a huge and seemingly surmountable problem and through action, compassion and determination – making a life altering difference. This movie has connection for all curricular areas as well as opening our students’ eyes to the problems waiting for their hearts and minds to solve. "

S.V., Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent
Campbell Union School District
commented 2013-03-27 15:48:19 -0700 · Flag
“La Source is a wildly inspirational film. As an educator, I am constantly trying to find ways to expose my students to issues and efforts that challenge… that point to something bigger… La Source is a small, intimate, easily accessible film, grounded in urgent global ideals, that will definitely impact students. It is one of those rare cinematic ventures that exists to both entertain and broaden horizons.”

—J.G.
High School Teacher
Aveson Global Learning Academy
commented 2013-03-27 15:47:59 -0700 · Flag
“When students are able to learn about an issue, understand the problem, and are given the tools to take action and make a difference is truly a life changing experience for the students. Service learning programs are essential for today’s adolescents giving them confidence in themselves and empowering them to make a difference. La Source is a wonderful program for youth to become involved and learn about global concerns like water scarcity and poverty. The film and lesson plans encourage students to develop the ethic of service leadership and to lead with compassion. They learn they can make a difference.”
K.K.
Montessori Model United Nations Teacher
Montessori School of Ojai
commented 2013-03-27 15:47:38 -0700 · Flag
“Your power to change the world, or a piece of it, is a reality … and the compelling new documentary, La Source, provides the proof.”

Audrey Stein, Ed.D.
commented 2013-03-27 15:47:18 -0700 · Flag
Here are so great reviews from educators across the country:

“A definite thumbs-up for La Source! If you are looking for something to spark future activists, this is it. My students loved it.”
C.D.
English teacher
La Source

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