Happy New Year!
We started our Black History Year with a double film screening to mark the third anniversary of the disaster that ravaged Haiti. On 12 January 2010, a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti near the capital of Port-au-Prince killing more than 230,000 people, injuring more than 300,000 others, and leaving more than a million homeless as it destroyed great swaths of the city.
We screened ‘Poto Matin’ and ‘Baseball in the time of Cholera’ to a small audience at PCS Headquarters and had a good discussion at the end of the film. One of the audience members commented on the number of people in the room and strongly suggested that there should be more people here, as if it was not for the sacrifices made by the people of Haiti, we would not be here. I agree but I was not surprised as when we screen films that deal with issues or uncomfortable subjects, attendance numbers tend to be lower. This will not stop us from showing the films, as we have to address the uncomfortable truth about the conditions of African people around the world.
The film ‘Baseball in the time of Cholera’ exposed how the UN ‘peacekeepers’ inadvertently caused the country’s worst cholera epidemic in recent history. This was told through the eyes of a young baseball player. For me, this film was a good way to show how the Haiti crisis affected young people in Haiti, as the young man loses his mother to cholera.
I am glad to say that on the night despite low numbers we raised £30 for United Haitians in the UK and £30 for Friends of Felicitie Foundation, two grassroot organisations that work hard for the people of Haiti based in the UK.
The feedback received from the night is listed below:
“Very good film with a grain of hope in the organisation of women and the work of Mario Joseph to bring justice to the Haitian people”
“Thank you for highlighting the Cholera crisis and the real story to this traversty. This was intentional. The word has to spread regarding this film. Thanks for putting on these films. Baseball in the Time of Cholera – very sobering”
“Both films were well chosen and very informative. As well as the information, I felt emotionally connected to the people in the films. BHS: Well organised and a worthwhile endeavour which is much needed. So many of us need to know.”
“It was gripping. I was touched, angry, sad, horrified. The film really needs to be shown everywhere. Black History Studies, you are inspiring. I love you guys. Blessed love.”
“Thank you for showing the two films. Each one teach one. Please keep showing these two documentaries in our community. Keep up the good work!”
“Very well selected films to highlight the atrocities happening in Haiti. Black History Studies should definitely have a bigger platform to showcase their hard work and determination about the African Global crisis and to inform those who are unaware of such things”