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This item sold on October 7, 2015.

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I'm selling DVDs of the experimental documentary I made with friend and filmmaking collaborator, Hanna Rose Shell.

This DVD I'm selling here is for home/private use. If you want to purchase for a screening or library collection, please contact me and I'll put you in touch with our distributor That's our deal.

Secondhand (Pepe) is a documentary about the role of used clothing in diaspora cultures. We interwove two narratives into a visual and sonic journey. The historical memoir of a Jewish immigrant rag picker intertwines with the present-day story of “pepe” – secondhand clothing that flows from the United States to Haiti. Secondhand (Pepe) explores recycled clothes: their secret afterlives and the unspoken connections among people in an era of globalization.

In the early 1900s, immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe collected, sorted, and sold secondhand clothing. As the Jewish peddlers made their way through North American city streets, they called out “Rags, Bones, Bottles!” Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the used clothing industry has gone global. Billions of pounds go to developing nations each year. Used American clothes play an especially central role in Haiti where, as one peddler reveals, “It’s all pepe, all the time.”

Dreamlike visuals and ethereal sounds intermix the beats of Jewish klezmer and Haitian rara music. Luke Fischbeck (Lucky Dragons) composed the soundtrack of the film, emphasizing the ruptures and looped connections among diaspora cultures (we got runner-up for best soundtrack at the Rhode Island International Film Festival!). Secondhand (Pepe)'s two stories converge as American castoffs travel from the memoir reader's rag factory to Haiti, and in a way, the past recycles into the present.

Runtime is 24min. We shot on miniDV and we used archival footage and still images, as well as live action from our shoots in Haiti, Miami, Boston, Brooklyn, Baltimore, and Montreal. We started the project while in grad school and just finished up. We've been in a few film festivals and have done some screenings on college campuses. It's been quite an experience making this movie! We're excited to say this movie has screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Jacmel Film Festival in Haiti.

I mail out the DVD in an amaray style DVD case and cool "reversible" cover art designed by me (one side is Jewish, flip it over and the other side is Haitian). The face of the DVD is decorated with a nice needle and thread design by my illustrator husband, Mickey Duzyj.

For more about the project, check out
Vanessa Bertozzi

DVD movie "Secondhand (Pepe)" - indie documentary film


  • Handmade item
  • Materials: dvd, video, film, movie
  • Ships worldwide from New York, United States
  • Feedback: 40 reviews
  • Favorited by: 63 people