Berlinale: Programme

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Berlinale Special

Assistance Mortelle (Fatal Assistance)

Fatal Assistance (Assistance Mortelle)

Extracts from the panel discussion in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele with director Raoul Peck, politician Priscilla Phelps and Haitian engineer Joiseus Nader. Moderation: Christiane Grefe

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12 January, 2010. A devastating earthquake shakes Haiti’s capital. In an instant 250,000 people are killed and 1.2 million left homeless. NGOs from all over the world send experts for critical relief efforts. At first, everyone has high hopes: at an international donors’ conference billions of dollars are pledged and the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), co-chaired by Bill Clinton, is created to oversee worldwide solidarity efforts. But, two-and-a-half years later, you only have to set foot in Port-au-Prince to see the international community has failed. Hundreds of thousands are still living in tents; the IHRC is as good as dead and only a fraction of the funds pledged have arrived in Haiti.
Filmed over two years, Haitian born filmmaker Raoul Peck’s documentary tries to find out how, in spite the international community’s promises, the needs of ten million people in the Caribbean came to be met in such a paltry fashion. He questions political decision-makers, private contractors and engineers – and of course ordinary Haitian people, who have begun a painstaking reconstruction of their own.

France / Haiti / USA / Belgium 2012, 99 min


Raoul Peck

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