CI student Fabrice Pierre present Homme MĂ©chant
9 May 2012 Prepped, shot + edited in 3 days for 25 cents watch Homme MĂ©chant by first year student Fabrice PierreNo Comments »
CI student Fabrice Pierre present Homme MĂ©chant
23 March 2010 Charlie Libin of ‘Friends of CinĂ© Institute’ recounts his recent visit to CINo Comments »
Hello Friends of Cine Institute, Thanks to the efforts of many who made our mission to Jacmel possible! FOCI (Friends of Cine Institute) gathered and shipped (15) donated generators, support equipment, and materials from members of the NYC film community. The shipment was delivered to Jacmel in a container shared with humanitarian and medical supplies collected and arranged by PIH and AFYA. A FOCI fundraiser at the Tribeca Screening Room back in February raised funds for Jim McCullagh, Jim McCmillan and I to travel to Jacmel and work with CI staff and students to implement the installation of the generators where needed. I would also like to thank Jonathan Demme and his staff for working miracles with FOCI.
Jim McCullagh and I arrived in Port au Prince and were met at the airport by Bouqon (a CinĂ© Institute student). Our driver Jacques and his partner Robert then drove us through the streets of PaP and along CitĂ© Soleil. All city life is now in the streets. People live under tarps and donated tents set up against crumbling structures. Late afternoon we arrive in the southern coastal town of Jacmel. The lovely town has been battered, yet many buildings remain standing.
Picked up at the hotel at 8AM by Robert accompanied by Junior Jovan (a CI student who is our chief electrician â€śjuice masterâ€ť in-training and translator). We drive a few miles to the CI temporary headquarters at KROS near the airport strip. The CinĂ© Institute is currently sharing a compound run by Gerald Mathurin of KROS (Kordinasyon Rejyonal Oganysasyon Sides). There a squad of students jumped in and we drove to the depot where our donated equipment has been stored. We spent the better part of the day inventorying the equipment, oiling and checking the generators. Lunch at the CI â€“ and a brief respite out back among the banana trees listening to the students singing a Creole version of â€śWe are the Worldâ€ť. In the afternoon we scouted the St. Michel Hospital. Paula of CI and the students have assembled a list of potential recipients for the generators. The criteria are: public need, practicality, and efficiency of use for those in the CI community. We arrived at the St. Michel Hospital with a small crew of CI students and Jacquesâ€™ van fully loaded. We installed 2 Honda 6,500 gennies in the courtyard. While stringing wires over pathways, a woman inside a tent below gave birth to a baby boy. The sounds of the infantsâ€™ cries entering the world bring smiles to all.
EDH (Electricity Dâ€™Haiti) provides electricity to the country. Prior to the earthquake EDHâ€™S power supply was intermittent at best. Now EDH is more overwhelmed. Back-up generators did exist at some facilities. Problem is everything has moved outside under tents and these large generators are in many cases no longer practical. Fuel costs are also an issue. The portability of the donated generators fill a niche as the infrastructure is rebuilt. We reviewed our tasks with Paula and mapped a plan with Silver and Junior.
Silver is a remarkable guy who takes care of many CI logistics with Paula. Silver started out as a hammock maker and now has a small seaside cafĂ©. Annie Nocenti teaches her classes near the tents under the banana trees. Jocelyne will translate, as Annie bobs and weaves like Sonny Liston as she shares her analytical knowledge of cinema and her innate sense of Aristotelian dramatic structure. The esprit de corps that CinĂ© Students possess is inspiring.
We strolled past the now condemned, yet still beautiful old Concorde Cinema (former home of CinĂ© Institute). With all the destruction it does seem a miracle that no CI students or staff were lost or badly injured. In the afternoon we scouted the tent camp on the grounds of Parfaite Sincerite Des Coeurs Reunis 4 Orient Jacmel. While heading back to CI â€“ thoughts drift to what is on every personâ€™s mindâ€¦ Rainy season is approaching. The coming winds and rain will wreak havoc in many camps. There is a style of emergency shelter that is a very sturdily constructed tent. Bouncing around the bed of the Toyota pickup, we pull into the CI/KROSS compound. Inside the darkened classroom/temp edit bay â€“ there was Andrewâ€™s face glowing hunched among the students still busy at the Mac consoles editing their material. Every stop at CIâ€™s temp quarters during our stay, we would always be reminded that it is a home away from home for many. Some students are sleeping in tents among the banana trees out back.
We headed East beyond Cayes Jacmel to the Marigot Hospital. One of the transformers is out resulting in all sterilization to be done in washes since the autoclave is 3 phase. The lights were down in one of their wings â€“ and Jimmy diagnosed the problem. A bunch of light fixtures had been shorted out by leaking water. Somehow we found a box of spare ballasts in the storeroom. We deliver a 6,500 w Honda to Kayangel Orphanage. The crumbling building is painted white with pink hearts. Now it resembles a broken gingerbread house. Cribs and all contents are outside under tents.
At dusk we arrived in the city square piled onto the back of the Toyota with Annie, CI students and projection equipment. Silver supervised the setup of the screen and amps for a new Jacmel favorite: â€śCinĂ© Lumiereâ€ť. The CinĂ© Institute puts on outdoor screenings of films at various camps. Some CI shorts were shown. The crowd laughed with abandon at a hilarious compilation put together by Zul. Cinema Paradiso Creole Style!!!
We loaded up a 6,500 w Honda and drove up a steep hill to Radio Express (huge radio tower still standing). The station temporarily housed the CinĂ© Institute prior to their relocation to KROS. Much of the city gains info from radio as EDH is intermittent and internet connections are rare and not always reliable. On the way back we scout Pastor Milien Orphanage up the road from Juniorâ€™s home. They have already begun reconstruction and are well staffed.
Back at KROS again â€“ Andrew hunkers down with students. There is Disaster Capitalism and here we have Disaster Culturalism. Attention must be paid to retain and stimulate the local music, art, theater, dance and now Neo-Haitian Cinema movementâ€¦ comparisons were made during a conversation in one of Annieâ€™s classesâ€¦. A sort of combination of Nouvelle Vague and Neo-Realism Cinema is emerging from Jacmelâ€¦ Annie crowned me a â€śprofesseurâ€ť and I would teach a class the following day. The lesson: â€śAction Sequencesâ€ť. Christophe races 4-wheelers on a dirt track outside of town. We would film him tomorrow.
At CI we stack the batteries alongside the KROS electric enclosure. These will be connected in series and constantly recharged to supplement the gas generator and ongoing EDH blackouts.
I teach my impromptu class the first half of which is devoted to manipulating and controlling light (a bedsheet my visual aid). We then prep for our film portrait of ATV 4-wheeler racer Christophe (also owner of Cyvadier Hotel). We talk about shooting the race, camera positions, safety issues, etc. We then all pile into the back of the Toyota and head out to location â€“ the afternoon light just magical. The students have already been shooting when Christophe and his racing opponent show up.
Kids in the neighborhood are drawn to the circus. Cows, goats, and dogs wander about. The students are so comfortable with cameras â€“ among them Keziah and Marco â€“ both gazelle like and at one with the camera with grace and determination. They find serenity at moments – so important and yet rare in camerapersons â€“ great instincts. Annie concocted this shoot as a sort of diversion from all the recent events and it was a blast for all involved.
As the sun goes down feeling melancholy as it is my last night. At CI we say our goodbyes – then jump in with Jacques and Robert for the return to PaP through the mountains. Olivier and Junior hop out at one point and buy me a CD with Haitian and Dominican music. We listen to it as we pass along CitĂ© Soleil. The track is modern yet with sounds of goatâ€™s baaaaing as a chorus. To calm myself as we have several brushes with head-ons on the mountain switchbacks â€“ I let my mind wander to the studentsâ€¦ Olivier (probing and curious), Keziah (with the camera â€“ always!) Fritzner pontificating on cinema and other philosophical questions – Bayard, Mari Merci, Andre – Bouqonâ€™s charming smile (he could talk his way through anything). Marco (fascinated by light in all manifestations). Marjorie illuminates. Djimi â€“ a tough teddy bear. Charming Frida, Enette, Cesar, Macdala, Guy (a Haitian Jean Paul Belmondo) the quiet, yet deeply thoughtful Stanley, Frero, Huguens. Ebby is often hunched over his laptop consumed with his latest creations. I look forward to his cinematic voice. Fouki Foura always lights up the room when he coolly strolls in. Zul carried a camera like it was a little bird on his hand.
IN BROOKLYN Jim McCullagh and I were especially happy hearing that Jim McMillan arrived and fell right in with the CI crew. Jim and Junior followed through and delivered the additional generators to camps including ones we had scouted. Had to chuckle hearing Jim fixed the Jeep and was driving around Jacmel. Latest great news: Juice-Master Juniorâ€™s going on his first solo mission to install a gennie at the Hospital Bainet!.
Yours, Charlie Libin
17 February 2010 A Survivor’s Story by Laura Wagner9 Comments »
I came to Haiti to research. Six months later, I lay under the rubble of a house, my friend crushed to death nearby
By Laura Wagner
I was sitting barefoot on my bed, catching up on ethnographic field notes, when the earthquake hit. As a child of the San Francisco area, I was underwhelmed at first. â€śAn earthquake. This is unexpected,” I thought. But then the shaking grew stronger. I had never felt such a loss of control, not only of my body but also of my surroundings, as though the world that contained me were being crumpled.
I braced myself in a doorway between the hallway and the kitchen, trying to hold on to the frame, and then a cloud of darkness and cement dust swallowed everything as the house collapsed. I was surprised to die in this way, but not afraid. And then I was surprised not to be dead after all. I was trapped, neither lying down nor sitting, with my left arm crushed between the planks of the shattered doorway and my legs pinned under the collapsed roof. Somewhere, outside, I heard people screaming, praying and singing. It was reassuring. It meant the world hadnâ€™t ended.
I want you to know that, before the earthquake, things in Haiti were normal. Outside Haiti, people only hear the worst — tales that are cherry-picked, tales that are exaggerated, tales that are lies. I want you to understand that there was poverty and oppression and injustice in Port-au-Prince, but there was also banality. There were teenage girls who sang along hilariously with the love ballads of Marco Antonio SolĂs, despite not speaking Spanish. There were men who searched in vain for odd jobs by day and told never-ending Bouki and Ti Malis stories and riddles as the sun went down and rain began to fall on the banana leaves. There were young women who painted their toenails rose for church every Sunday, and stern middle-aged women who wouldnâ€™t let me leave the house without admonishing me to iron my skirt and comb my hair. There were young students who washed their uniforms and white socks every evening by hand, rhythmically working the detergent into a noisy foam. There were great water trucks that passed through the streets several times a day, inexplicably playing a squealing, mechanical version of the theme from “Titanic,” which we all learned to ignore the same way we tuned out the overzealous and confused roosters that crowed at 3 a.m. There were families who finished each day no further ahead than they had begun it and then, at night, sat on the floor and intently followed the Mexican telenovelas dubbed into French. Their eyes trained on fantastic visions of alternate worlds in which roles become reversed and the righteous are rewarded, dreaming ahead into a future that might, against all odds, hold promise. I need to tell you these things, not just so that you know, but also so I donâ€™t forget.
I think I was under the rubble for about two hours. Buried somewhere in what had been the kitchen, a mobile phone had been left to charge, and now it kept ringing. The ringtone was sentimental, the chorus of a pop love song. There was something sticky and warm on my shirt. I thought it was sĂ˛s pwa, a Haitian bean soup eaten over rice, which weâ€™d had for lunch. I thought it was funny, that sĂ˛s pwa was leaking out of the overturned refrigerator and all over me. I thought, â€śWhen I get out, I will have to tell Melise about this.â€ť Melise was the woman who lived and worked in the house. I spent a large part of every day with her and her family — gossiping and joking, polishing the furniture with vegetable oil, cooking over charcoal and eating pounded breadfruit with our hands. She said my hands were soft. Her palms were so hard and calloused from a lifetime of household work that she could lift a hot pot with her bare hands. She called me her third daughter.. I thought Melise would laugh to see me drenched in her sĂ˛s pwa from the bottom hem of my shirt up through my bra. It took me some time to figure out that what I thought was sĂ˛s pwa was actually my blood. I wrung it out of my shirt with my free right hand. I couldnâ€™t tell where it was coming from.
Melise did not make it out of the house. She died, we assume, at the moment of collapse. According to others, who told me later, she cried out, “LetĂ¨nel, oh letĂ¨nel!” and that was all. (The word is Creole for the French “l’Eternal,” a cry out to God.) “She had been folding laundry on the second floor — the floor that crumbled onto the first floor, where I was pinned, thinking wildly of sĂ˛s pwa. Melise worked and lived in that house for 15 years. She dreamed of one day having her own home and being free. She talked about it all the time. She died in the wreckage of a place she did not consider her home.
I want to write everything down â€“ those mundane remembrances of how life was before — because as time passes I am afraid that people will become fossilized, that their lives and identities will begin to be knowable only through the facts of their deaths. My field notes are buried in that collapsed house. Those notes are an artifact, a record of a lost time, stories about people when they were just people — living, ordinary people who told dirty jokes, talked one-on-one to God, blamed a fart on the cat, and made their way through a life that was grinding but not without joy or humor, or normality. I donâ€™t want my friends to be canonized.
I had been in Port-au-Prince for a total of six months, conducting research on household workers and human rights. As a young American woman not affiliated with any of the large organizations that dominate the Haitian landscape, I was overwhelmed every day by the fierce generosity of Haitians. People who had little were eager to share their food, their homes, their time, their lives. Now Iâ€™m cobbling together this narrative — these nonconsecutive remembrances — in surreal and far-removed settings: first a hospital bed in South Miami, then a Cinnabon-scented airport terminal, now a large public university during basketball season. I canâ€™t do anything for those same people who gave of themselves so naturally and unflinchingly. My friends, who for months insisted on sharing whatever food they had made, even if I had already eaten, promising me “just a little rice” but invariably giving more. My friends, who walked me to the taptap stop nearly every day.
Now that the first journalistic burst has ended, now that the celebrity telethons have wrapped, the stories you hear are of â€ślootersâ€ť and â€ścriminalsâ€ť set loose on a post-apocalyptic wasteland. This is the same story that has always been told about Haiti, for more than 200 years, since the slaves had the temerity to not want to be slaves anymore. This is the same trope of savagery that has been used to strip Haiti and Haitians of legitimacy since the Revolution. But at the moment of the quake, even as the city and, for all we knew, the government collapsed, Haitian society did not fall into Hobbesian anarchy. This stands in contradiction both to what is being shown on the news right now, and everything we assume about societies in moments of breakdown.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, there was great personal kindness and sacrifice, grace and humanity in the midst of natural and institutional chaos and rupture. My friend Frenel, who worked cleaning and maintaining the house, appeared within minutes to look for survivors. He created a passage through the still-falling debris using only a flashlight and a small hammer — the kind you would use to nail a picture to a wall. Completely trapped, the nerves in my left arm damaged, I could not help him save me. He told me, calmly, â€śPray, Lolo, you must pray,â€ť as he broke up the cement and pulled it out, piece by piece, to free me. Once I was out, he gave me the sandals off his own feet. As I write this, I am still wearing them. At the United Nations compound, where Frenel ultimately guided and left me, everyone sat together on the cracked asphalt, bleeding and dazed, holding hands and praying as the aftershocks came. A little boy who had arrived alone trembled on my lap. Another family huddled under the same metallic emergency blanket with us. Their child looked at me, warily — a foreigner, covered in blood and dusted white with cement powder. His grandmother told him, â€śOu mĂ¨t chita. Li malad, menm jan avek nou.â€ť You can sit. Sheâ€™s sick, too, just like us.
Social scientists who study catastrophes say there are no natural disasters. In every calamity, it is inevitably the poor who suffer more, die more, and will continue to suffer and die after the cameras turn their gaze elsewhere. Do not be deceived by claims that everyone was affected equally — fault lines are social as well as geological. After all, I am here, with my white skin and my U.S. citizenship, listening to birds outside the window in the gray-brown of a North Carolina winter, while the people who welcomed me into their lives are still in Port-au-Prince, within the wreckage, several of them still not accounted for.
As I sat waiting to be flown out, trying to convince myself that I was just another injured person using up scant food and resources, a non-Haitian man whom I presumed worked for the U.N. approached me. â€śCan you do me a favor?â€ť he asked. â€śCould you write something down?â€ť I nodded, and he handed me a pen and paper. â€śTear the paper in half, and on the first half write ‘unidentified local female’ in block letters.. Then on the second piece of paper write the same thing.â€ť I looked up. There were bodies loaded into the back of a pickup truck. The womanâ€™s floral print dress was showing and her feet were hanging out. There were not enough sheets and blankets for the living patients, never mind enough to adequately wrap the dead. The U.N. guy looked at me and sort of smiled as I numbly tore the paper and wrote. â€śAfter all, you need something to do. All the bars are closed,” he said.
I stared at the bodies on the truck, and I hated him. I did not know which, if any, of my friends had survived. I imagined the people I love — MarlĂ¨ne, one of my best friends, or Damilove, the mother of my goddaughter â€“ wrapped up in some scrap of cloth with their feet hanging out and some asshole tagging them with a half-piece of scrap paper that says they are anonymous, without history, unknown.
In Haiti I was treated with incredible warmth and generosity by people who have been criminalized, condemned, dehumanized and abstractly pitied. They helped me in small, significant ways for the six months I was there, and in extraordinary ways in the hours after the quake. Now I cannot help them. I cannot do anything useful for them from here, except to employ the only strategy that was available to us all when we were buried in collapsed houses, listening to the frantic stirrings of life aboveground: to shout and shout until someone responds.
Laura Wagner is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, who was living and conducting research in Port-au-Prince.
27 January 2010 Open Letter from Nathalie Brunet4 Comments »
Upon arriving in New York from Haiti 12 days after the earthquake, having transited through Santo Domingo, San Juan, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Nathalie Brunet, a staff member of CinĂ© Institute, wrote the following:
â€śThe disconnection from Haiti is pretty traumatic in itself, or is that what they call post-traumatic stress? When I arrived in the DR Saturday, I couldn’t get rid of this guilty feeling…. Guilty of being in normalcy, realizing the whole world was moving on, so close to our borders, as if our world hadnâ€™t stopped. In Puerto Rico, deciding on which magazine to buy for the flight turned into mental torture… Travel? Fashion? Home decorating? They all seemed like futile pleasures and all the best-seller book topics seemed too depressing. I ended up buying nothing at all. Then came the phobias.
25 January 2010 Andrew Bigosinski Reports from Jacmel3 Comments »
“Aid is slowly getting to Jacmel, but now the problem is distribution. Communities outside of the city center that also need help are easily overlooked in the frenzy. Clean water is in short supply and CinĂ© Institute is also helping to facilitate the receiving and installation of water treatment systems here in Jacmel. We are making personal efforts to connect community leaders to the resources — but our own resources are limited. The students will be reporting on the distribution of aid from their own unique perspective as recipients and citizens, updated on our blog.”
“The school has moved to a safe compound near the airport. We work outside. The students continue to report to our blog page, and credit the school for helping them cope with this catastrophe. By developing a safe haven where the students can communicate with other students, share experiences and work through this overwhelming catastrophe, we are all starting the healing process together. There is so much to rebuild; we cannot lose hope.”
“We are still getting crazy strong aftershocks at least once a day, and usually more often. These frighteningly quick tremors send us running in all directions. We work outdoors, sleep outdoors — everything. We are all too tense and frightened to go inside. We had one just today — and people lose it. They cry, faint, run, go wild and children cry. It is straining all of us to no end: such a strange kind of mind torture. None of us have peaceful sleeps as we wake at the slightest noise. We are eating one well-rounded meal a day here at the school, as we have shifted all our on-hand cash resources to a food program for the staff and students.”
“We remain dedicated to documenting and reporting this enormous catastrophe from within this impoverished and resource-depleted nation. Our students have a unique and personal perspective on all this, and understand the importance of this project. The great outpouring of encouragement from all our supporters motivates us to continue despite the great feelings of loss all around us. So I take this moment to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. And from us all here in Jacmel: THANK YOU!”
Andrew Bigosinski, Director of the CinĂ© Lekol
23 January 2010 Open Letter from Paul Haggis now in Port au Prince6 Comments »
January 22, 2010
This morning we toured the â€śstreet schoolsâ€ť in the slums of Cite Soleil and surrounding areas, the poorest neighborhoods in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; the schools sponsored by NPH International and Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ). Most were destroyed. The good news was that the quake hit just as school had let out, so nowhere near as many children were killed as we feared. Still, too many. We met many people who had lost children, sisters and brothers. We took our building and architectural partners and made solid steps towards designing and constructing new disaster-resistant schools. More about that at a later time.
What I want to tell you about is what happened this afternoon and this evening.
While I stood by and watched, two people we brought to Haiti, and one old friend and newest APJ board member, pulled off an unbelievable miracle. They saved the lives of 18 people. Working with heroic medical teams, John Edwards, David Belle and Moran Atias, through sheer persistence and force of will, fought an incredible bureaucracy and won.
These were 18 children and adults who could not be treated in Port-au-Prince and so were being left for dead. When we arrived, the staff of St Damienâ€™s told us that they had been begging anyone who would listen to get them medivac-ed out of the country to hospitals in the US, but no one would listen. But the incredible team of J/P HRO doctors that Sean Penn and Diana Jenkins brought us refused to just let them lie there until they died.
John Edwards started making calls. The initial response was, â€śAre they US Citizens?â€ť Of course they werenâ€™t. None of us thought he had a rats chance in hell.
He lost contact. The phones didnâ€™t work — not even SAT phones. The next morning David Belle started emailing and made contact with his friend the extraordinary Dr. Barth Green, chief neurologist at Jackson Memorial and on the ground in Haiti, with his Project Medishare team at the Port-au-Prince airport. Dr. Green didnâ€™t hesitate and said, â€śBring them over.â€ť David and John spent the next 3 hours searching for Dr. Greenâ€™s team amongst a maze of military camps at the airport. When
Back to the night before.
After working late into the night along side Maria Bello, helping to organize the medicine and medical supplies that we brought, along with many more boxes that Sean and Diana gave us, Moran Atias couldnâ€™t sleep, so she began assisting the doctor in charge of these â€śhopeless cases,â€ť J/Pâ€™s Dr. Alice Thompson. In the morning, after touring the schools, she heard that David and John were making headway and she leapt in and started organizing the Haitian patients. She started getting the names of the critically ill children, and tracking down their parents and guardians and getting information, and making sure the doctors agreed they were stable enough for evacuation.
Then David and John showed up with the flatbed and, working with the St, Damienâ€™s staff and the J/P HRO doctors, they started loading. And within hours, a convoy of six vehicles, flatbeds and pickup trucks, drove slowly to over the potholes of the destroyed streets of Port au Prince to get them to the airport — which is a scene out of hell right now — and into the safe hands of Lt. Col. Lee Harvis with the 1st Special Operations Support Squadron, and their amazing doctors, nurses and medical staff. Too many people to mention, like Captain Tracie Tippins, who got the plane here from Miami and is giving us tail numbers and organizing ground reception in Florida for Dr. Greenâ€™s team.
It is a long story and my battery is running low as I sit here writing by the light of three candles, so I will cut it short and just show you the pictures. And give you the names. (pictures coming soon)
Paul Haggis, January 22, 2010, Port-au-Prince Haiti
21 January 2010 Two More Aftershocks in Jacmel4 Comments »
Cine Director Andrew Bigosinski just reported that Jacmel Haiti was just hit with two more strong quakes, one quickly following the other. Everyone is fine, though on edge, and have moved outdoors to continue reporting.
20 January 2010 6.0 AFTERSHOCK TREMOR HITS JACMEL HAITI6 Comments »
Jacmel awoke at 6AM this morning to yet another after-shock (apparently 6.1). The students and CinĂ© Institute Founder David Belle, asleep in a temporary office, were on their feet and running out doors and windows in less than 5 seconds. More houses have fallen and the main tower is down, knocking out Internet.
CinĂ© Instituteâ€™s Director Andrew Bigosinski also reports that their generator, which powers their antenna, is down due to lack of fuel.
The good news is that David Belle also reports that due to the incredible response of the media to this story, there are now relief ships and planes arriving in Jacmel and the CI students are out with 5 crews finding other towns that have been so far cut off from aid.
17 January 2010 CinĂ© Institute Director David Belle reports from Port-au-Prince:25 Comments »
â€śI have been told that much US media coverage paints Haiti as a tinderbox ready to explode. I’m told that lead stories in major media are of looting, violence and chaos. There could be nothing further from the truth.
â€śI have traveled the entire city daily since my arrival. The extent of damages is absolutely staggering. At every step, at every bend is one horrific tragedy after another; homes, businesses, schools and churches leveled to nothing. Inside every mountain of rubble there are people, most dead at this point. The smell is overwhelming. On every street are people — survivors — who have lost everything they have: homes, parents, children, friends.
â€śNOT ONCE have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence. To the contrary, we have witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends and strangers. We’ve seen neighbors digging in rubble with their bare hands to find survivors. We’ve seen traditional healers treating the injured; we’ve seen dignified ceremonies for mass burials and residents patiently waiting under boiling sun with nothing but their few remaining belongings. A crippled city of two million awaits help, medicine, food and water. Most haven’t received any.
â€śHaiti can be proud of its survivors. Their dignity and decency in the face of this tragedy is itself staggering.â€ť
David Belle, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 17th, 2010
16 January 2010 New Eyewitness Accounts From Students9 Comments »
â€śI was at CinĂ© Institute at a meeting with Zaka and Frero to supervise their work (photo of a boat) on a project documentary about water. Suddenly I heard a big noise, and I saw Paula and Andrew jumping off their seats to take refuge under the threshold of the door. Zaka and Frero joined them. Since it was already raining dust from the ceiling, I slipped under a table for protection. The floor was shaking at a growing and irresistible rhythm under my feet.
â€śAfter the jolts, Paula shouted â€śRastafarai!.â€ť Other people were imploring God. I was helping Silver to save a couple of materials when someone shouted: â€ścurrent-of-marsh.â€ť We all ran and left the building. As I ran in the streets (with a computer in my arms) I saw injured and dead people, destroyed houses. It looked like the apocalypse. My motherâ€™s house is destroyed. I lost some cousins and friends and I canâ€™t stop thinking about Cine Lekol.â€ť
Donald Charles, CinĂ© Institute, Jacmel, January 2010
â€śThe town of Jacmel is unrecognizable after this earthquake and all the students of CinĂ© Institute are looking for pictures to show the amount of victims. I am okay, even though my family and I are sleeping in the streets. A couple of my friends died in a school that collapsed. I have relatives in Port-au-Prince that I cannot touch base with.â€ť
Olivier Divers, CinĂ© Institute, Jacmel, January 2010
â€śCinĂ© Institute was hit so bad that we couldnâ€™t work at or usual location. We had to go to a nearby place. Jacmel needs a fast intervention because there were approximately 300 to 400 houses that were destroyed and there are still corpses buried in their houses. Now these corpses are releasing odors which will cause diseases later. CinĂ© Institute still doesnâ€™t have a location.â€ť
Massena Cesar, CinĂ© Institute, Jacmel, January 2010
â€śMy name is Marie Lucie Dubreuse and I am a student at CinĂ© Institute. This is the first time I am seeing the damages of an earthquake. I was at CinĂ© Institute when everything started rolling under our feet. Thank God I wasnâ€™t alone on this unforgettable day. One of my classmates took my hand and ran to the streets with me. Thatâ€™s when I understood what happened.
â€śI ran home to get my daughter that was home at the time. This has traumatized everyone. We are all alive at CinĂ© Institute and we are doing our best to inform you of the situation in Jacmel.â€ť
Lucie Dubreuse, CinĂ© Institute, Jacmel, January 2010
Prepped, shot + edited in 3 days for 25 cents watch Homme MĂ©chant by first year student Fabrice Pierre