Dangerous Liaisons Revealed in Raoul Peck’s Documentary
Driving through what looks like a war zone, a municipal worker talks us through restoration efforts in post-earthquake Haiti. The pain in his voice is effortlessly muffed by the anger in his words. It was on January 12, 2010 that the lives of countless Haitians came to a crumbling halt. Thus began a series of challenging, contradictory and controversial peace missions, of which Raoul Peck’s Fatal Assistance is a grueling account.
Peck gives us a clandestine peek into the lives of Haitians since the fateful day and how various peace missions and international help have done nothing but damage to the country. Set over a period of two years, Peck’s documentary reveals the plight of the displaced millions, the intervention of international donors, support from NGOs and dubious support from politicians. Political bigwigs and celebrities (Bill Clinton and Sean Penn, to name a few) came forward to help, but these efforts, as the title suggests, have proved nothing but fatal. In such a scenario, under the watchful eyes of international leaders, military and businesses, the very existence of selfless motive is questionable. As a Haitian official recounts the floundering efforts of these reconstruction missions, Fatal Assistance digs deep into the debris of “humanitarian pornography.” Stating that “debris management and removal isn’t sexy enough for donors,” he asserts that the idealistic allocation of humanitarian aid is a complete failure.
Peck’s documentary analyzes the damage and the measures in place to fix it. What we get is a powerful and thoroughly investigated exposé of large scale organizational ineptitude. Watch the documentary for a real-life investigation of how international missions have done nothing but harm to the Haitians. Peck has used a unique but powerful technique of storytelling, via postcards and letters written between friends who lived in Haiti. His style of investigation is thorough and well thought out. We are exposed to both the givers and receivers. Two years on, Peck believes that Haitians are fed up with the broken promises, the hidden agendas, the Clintons and the Coca-Colas.
Second Screening : Wed 10/30/2013 15:00 VOX2