Fatal Assistance

Film Info
Premiere Status:France
Year of Prod:2013
Running Time:100
Original Language:English
dir:Raoul Peck
prod:Rémi Grellety
cam:Antoine Struyf
editor:Alexandra Strauss
source:Doc & Film International
13 rue Portefoin
The devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti had one supposed upside: within months, the world’s powers had promised $11 billion in reconstruction aid, providing what many foresaw as Haiti’s best chance to solve chronic problems of poverty, unemployment and corruption. Yet today, many quake victims are still mired in squalor while international agencies fight over dwindling funds or pull up stakes altogether. An international solution has turned into a local nightmare. Filmed over two years, Haitian-born Raoul Peck’s powerful exposé gives us a front-row seat to the unfolding disaster—not only the aftermath of the quake itself, which displaced more than a million people, but to what he sees as the staggering failure of the international aid effort. From the competing agendas of NGO’s who distrust the locals, to the camera-ready proclamations of diplomats (both Bill and Hillary Clinton make appearances), to the dirty work of rubble-clearing that nobody wants to fund, Fatal Assistance doesn’t blink as it shows global politics colliding into a vulnerable population. However well-meaning, the aid may come at a cost to Haitians that is more than financial; Peck asks, and leaves us wondering, “Who will save us from our saviors?”
-Peter Stein
Contemporary French Cinema Sponsors
Additional Information

Raoul Peck

A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Raoul Peck was raised in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) after his family fled Haiti’s Duvalier regime. Educated in France, the U.S. and Germany, where he studied filmmaking, he has directed both documentaries and fiction features, including Lumumba (2000) and The Man by the Shore (SFIFF 1993), which was the first Haitian film to have an American theatrical release. He divides his time now between France, the U.S. and Haiti, where he served for a short time in the mid-1990s as Minister of Culture.