In Jean Gentil, a man looks for a job in a cacophonous city that wouldn’t notice if he had never existed. He’s wearing a tie and the kind of sadness that removes from the face any immediately recognizable expression—the awkward and self-effacing sadness of the unwelcome immigrant. The man (Jean Gentil, playing a filmic version of himself) is an unemployed Haitian polyglot in Santo Domingo with a background in accounting and a tendency to question whether or not he’s even alive. While initially aiming for an office job in line with his experience and goals, he quickly has to settle for a construction job and a hard floor to sleep on after being evicted. He eventually makes his way to the countryside, where he retreats from the unforgiving madness of the big city and, ironically, away from “civilization” he can finally find a place to sleep, something to eat, and water to bathe.
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