Film Statement

Jean Michel Dilone’s film 1382 Days distinguishes itself because it is a story that wasn’t imagined, but actually lived.

Dilone was unjustly imprisoned in one of Haiti’s worst jails. That he was able to get out, come to the U.S., enroll in a digital filmmaking program, and make a film about his life is—for most of us—a scenario we can only imagine.

1382 Days feels authentic. Even the cliché of a prison guard stepping on a man’s glasses is invigorated with lines like “You won’t need these anymore.” More truth can be evidenced in moments like the exchange between guard and prisoner—so economically reduced to two words: “bitch,” to which the inmate replies “Jesus.”

It goes without saying that faith plays an integral part of Jean Michel’s life. It is, no doubt, what kept him alive during those years in jail. And, it must be, in the end, what got him out and gave him the strength to tell his tale. For, in spite of the unspeakable horrors he was forced to live through, Jean Michel’s story has a happy ending—even an uplifting one—a man’s reward for not giving up. In America, where freedom is taken for granted, Dilone’s 1382 Days reminds us that we are living in a powerful country. Not powerful in the militaristic sense of the word. Powerful in its ability to offer so many people food, shelter, and safety—in sum: all the things he spent so many years without.

Federico Muchnik
Director, Film Program
Center for Digital Imaging Arts
at Boston University
274 Moody Street
Waltham, MA 02453
800-808-2342 x3019
tel 781-209-1700
fax 781-209-0018