Documentary AIDependence: free online screening available for two weeks
After many years of receiving a considerable amount of foreign aid, Haiti remains an impoverished and fragile state. The documentary AIDependence goes on a quest to answer the question: Do our generous donations actually have the desired effect or do they controversially provoke an unhealthy dependence?
"They think they are working towards development, but they’re destroying the very people they are trying to help", says 26 year old Louino Robillard, alias “Robi”, resident of Haitis biggest slum, Cité Soleil, in the first scene of AIDependence. He is talking about the exorbitant amount of people working for non-profit-organizations that have been present in Haiti for several generations.
The documentary follows the young Haitian adult Robi, citizen of the poorest slum in the western hemisphere, Cité Soleil, and Sabina, his American girlfriend and former aid worker. Together they work to change the traditional system of aid and are partisans of a Haitian movement called “Konbit Soley Leve” that aims to make Haitians responsible again of their own destiny.
AIDependence tells the story of the extremely controversial relationship between the people of Haiti and aid organizations, exposing the negative side effects that aid creates such as dependency, corruption as well as the destruction of the economy and solidarity.
January 12th 2015 marks the 5th anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake. A quake of magnitude seven struck the impoverished nation of Haiti resulting in more than 200,000 deaths and leaving more than 1 million homeless, attracting thousands of well-intentioned helpers, ready to save the small island.
Yet, Haiti's strong dependence on foreign aid has a history of more than 30 years. The increased need since the earthquake of 2010 is just one chapter in its long history of receiving financial support. However, as is the case in many developing countries, these well meant outside efforts have led to very few concrete and visible results.
The international, developmental aid has often not cultivated the personal initiative of Haitians, but rather inhibited it, because the aid does not focus on human beings, but on concrete projects and the influx of materials, which the locals sometimes do not even need.
AIDependence breaks stereotypes about aid, non-governmental organizations “NGOs” and a life in poverty. Using the example of Haiti, a country with one of the highest numbers of NGOs per capita in the world, the 90 minutes documentary shows that good intentions aren’t always good enough.
AIDependence celebrated its world premier at the FIPA international film festival in Biarritz, France and has been shown in many cinemas worldwide. Now, it will be freely available to watch online for two weeks [Jan. 12 - 26, 2015] starting on the evening of the 12th of January, in regards to the fifth anniversary of the earthquake. You’ll find it on the following link: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/aidependence, using the password: aidependence
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