Fatal Assistance

Watch Fatal Assistance

  • 2014
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.8  (138)
  • 70

Fatal Assistance is a documentary film released in 2013 that takes a critical look at the foreign aid provided to Haiti following the disastrous earthquake that struck the country in 2010. The film is directed by Raoul Peck, a Haitian filmmaker, and follows his own experiences and observations as he investigates the failure of the international community to provide effective aid.

The film begins with a harrowing look at the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, as thousands of people lay dead or injured in the streets of Port-au-Prince. Peck highlights the shocking lack of coordination and organization among aid groups in the early days of the crisis, and the chaos that ensued as multiple organizations claimed responsibility for providing aid, but failed to work together effectively. This initial segment sets the tone for the rest of the film, which paints a picture of systemic failure and corruption that characterized the international response to the disaster.

Peck then turns his attention to the government of Haiti, which he argues is largely responsible for the country's continued poverty and underdevelopment. Through interviews with government officials and representatives of civil society, Peck shows how corruption, mismanagement, and political instability have exacerbated the country's problems and prevented real progress from being made.

One of the film's major themes is the negative impact of well-intentioned but misguided aid efforts. Peck argues that many organizations and individuals came to Haiti with preconceived notions about what the country needed, and implemented programs and projects that were not tailored to the specific needs of Haitians. This often resulted in wasted resources, and in some cases, caused more harm than good.

The film also explores the damaging effects of the humanitarian industry on Haitian society. Peck argues that the massive influx of aid organizations, NGOs, and foreign workers has created a parallel economy that is disconnected from the rest of the country, and that this has had a detrimental effect on local businesses and social structures. He also raises concerns about the safety and security of aid workers, and the possibility of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Throughout the film, Peck interviews a wide range of Haitians, from government officials to grassroots activists and everyday citizens. Their voices provide a powerful counterpoint to the outsiders who are portrayed as dominating the aid effort. Peck shows how Haitians have been marginalized and excluded from decision-making processes at every level, and how this has perpetuated the cycle of poverty and dependency that has characterized the country for decades.

Overall, Fatal Assistance is a deeply critical and thought-provoking film that challenges viewers to rethink their assumptions about foreign aid and the role of the international community in promoting development. It is a call to action for those who want to see real change in Haiti and other countries that have been devastated by natural disasters and systemic injustice.

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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (138)
  • Metascore