VIDEO: Haiti Reporters interview Raoul Peck about his film "Mortal Assistance"

Raoul Peck is the internationally acclaimed Haitian director of such films as Lumumba, Man by the Shore and Moloch Tropical.

This interview with Port-au-Prince based young reporters about his latest film Assistance Mortelle (Mortal Assistance) which aired on French channel Arte this week and premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, is in French. I jotted down its key points in English while watching:

  • "I wanted that we be the ones telling our story for a change, to turn the tables for a moment. What I see on the airwaves is the not the country I know. Haitians do not have a voice."
  • "When asked why the aid is not working, "international" actors always say you can't trust Haitians, the Haitian state is weak. I had to break that litany of pretexts that prevents us from looking at the real problem."
  • " Along its 60 year history and everywhere it goes (Africa, Latin America included), "Development Aid" is ultimately neither "aid" nor "development". Looking at many African countries, one has to ask, where is the evidence of success? Have the lives of these countries really changed, do those countries export more than before, are there less inequalities, is there less infant mortality?"
  • "Aid" is deceptive because 40% of what is supposedly given is not spent in the supposed target country but in the donor country."
  • "Had the Haitians within the CIRH/IRCH [Bill Clinton-led International Reconstruction Commission for Haiti] not been marginalized, they could have played a crucial role relaying information to the population and to the ministries both of which were kept at bay."
  • Peck did the film out of the frustration of being in Haiti shortly after the earthquake and not being able to help because of the lack of coordination between various international actors who were ultimately there to serve their own interests first.
Can I go one step further Mr. Peck and say that ultimately the "aid", by functioning parallel to the Haitian government  and excluding it from "aid" coordination, ultimately weakens the very Haitian institutions it claims to bolster? 

VIDEO LINK:  http://ht.ly/k8PPK

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