Scribe Producers' Forum
dir. Raoul Peck, Haiti, 2013, 99 min.
Raoul Peck takes us on a two-year journey inside the challenging, contradictory, and colossal rebuilding efforts in post-earthquake Haiti. Through its provocative and radical point of view, Fatal Assistance offers a devastating indictment of the international community’s post-disaster idealism. The film dives headlong into the complexity of the reconstruction process and the practice and impact of worldwide humanitarian and development aid, revealing the disturbing extent of a general failure. We learn that a major portion of the money pledged to Haiti was never disbursed, nor made it into the actual reconstruction. Fatal Assistance leads us to one clear conclusion: current aid policies and practices in Haiti need to stop immediately.
Raoul Peck was born in Haiti, raised in Zaire (Congo) and France. HIs film credits include short experimental works, socio-political documentaries, and features based on fact as well as fiction. His feature L'homme sur les quais(1993) (The Man by the Shore) was the first Haitian film to be released in theatres in the United States and was selected for competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. His feature Lumumba (2000) screened in Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival, 2000. It also aired on HBO along with Sometimes in April, his powerful narrative on Rwandan genocide. His present work-in-progress is a documentary on the late author/activist James Baldwin.
A true internationalist, Peck divides his time between Europe and the
United States and for a brief time in the 1990s he served as Haiti's
Minister of Culture. In 1994 he was awarded the Nestor Almendros Prize
by the Human Rights Watch in New York; and in 2001 he received the
organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.
In January 2010, he was appointed Chairman of the École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l'Image et du Son (Le Fémis), the prestigious French national film school.
Co-sponsored by French and Francophone Studies at Swarthmore College and the Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University.
Producers' Forums are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.