The Damage That Good Can Inflict

‘Fatal Assistance,’ About Relief Efforts in Haiti

by Manohla Dargis

Feb28-2014HaitiDreams1Graves near Port-au-Prince after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, from “Fatal Assistance,” a documentary by Raoul Peck. Credit Velvet Film


…Much has been written on the relief efforts and failures in Haiti since the earthquake, so it’s a testament to Mr. Peck that he condenses a messy, complex story into a clear, graspable one. Even before the earthquake, Haiti had earned the dubious reputation as a Republic of NGO’s (for nongovernmental organizations) because of the sheer number of such groups — estimates range as high as 10,000 — working there. The need for aid after the quake seemed obvious given the devastation, yet as Mr. Peck starkly illustrates, the gulf between what was needed and what was initially provided was at times vast. That was the case with debris disposal: The capital of Port-au-Prince, he shows, had about 25 times the amount of debris that was at the World Trade Center after 9/11…

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About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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