‘Unbreakable,’ Haitian story of hope and healing at NYC Independent Film Festival


A post by Peter Jordens.

Caribbean News Now reports that Unbreakable: A Story of Hope and Healing in Haiti , a documentary about hope and healing in the midst of the horrific aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, will be a featured presentation at the New York City Independent Film Festival on Friday [October 17, 2014] and Sunday [October 19]. In September, the film won the Most Inspirational Documentary Award at the DocMiami International Festival/Florida Documentary Film Festival. [See our previous post Haitian Amputees’ Story of Triumph and Survival to Premiere at DocMiami Film Festival.]

[…] Unbreakable focuses on a segment of Haitian society that might easily have been ignored — the thousands of children who underwent emergency amputations in order to survive the shocking carnage that unfolded 4½ years ago. Not only did these young people survive, they thrived and formed an amputee soccer team that helped to change the hearts and minds of many Haitian people. “In Haiti, there has long been a stigma about disabled people,” explained Dr Robert Gailey, rehabilitation coordinator for University of Miami-affiliated Project Medishare for Haiti, the group that runs the amputee rehabilitation program in Port-au-Prince. “The traditional thinking was that disability somehow reflected a negative supernatural judgment on the person. This rehab program, and the soccer team, has really changed that way of thinking.”

[…] Touching on aspects of Haiti’s culture, turbulent history and economic hardship, and drawing on the insights of numerous experts, Unbreakable tells the story of the many challenges faced and overcome by the Healing Haiti’s Children initiative, which offered free prosthetics and rehabilitation to every child injured in the earthquake. The program was a partnership between the Knights of Columbus [a Catholic fraternal benefits organization based in New Haven, Conn.] and Project Medishare. Medishare provided medical expertise and treatment, and the Knights of Columbus provided funding of more than $1.5 million. To date, more than 1,000 children have received medical care as a result. “This film shows that when there is the will to do so, both in terms of those providing aid and those receiving it, lives can be saved and transformed by a program that is truly sustainable,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, executive producer of the documentary. “The work of the dedicated medical staff and the unbreakable spirit of these Haitian young people, in circumstances most of us can’t imagine, are truly inspiring.” […]

The project also inspired the formation of an amputee soccer team, named Zaryen (tarantula) after the resilient spider known for its ability to continue living even when it loses a limb. The team has inspired not only Haitians but also Americans, helping to teach amputee soccer to troops in the US who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan. And five years later, the work continues, with Haitian workers helping to build a sustainable program. “We’re still here … one of the few prosthetic facilities that are still going,” says prosthetist Adam Finnieston in the documentary, referring to the new permanent rehabilitation clinic in Haiti that has fit more than 1,000 children and is now largely staffed by Haitians trained in this specialization since the earthquake. “That was our mission goal from the beginning, to build a sustainable facility … training locals.” […]

The full, original article is at http://caribbeannewsnow.com/topstory-Haitian-story-of-triumph-and-survival-featured-at-New-York-film-festival-23194.html.

Watch the film trailer on the website of the NYC Independent Film Festival, https://www.nycindiefilmfest.com/film/unbreakable-a-story-of-hope-and-healing-in-haiti, or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0AwElWBKiw.

Additional trailers and more information about Unbreakable are available on the film’s website, http://www.unbreakableinhaiti.com/en/index.html

The film will be screened on Friday at 11:30 am at the Royal Theatre at the Producers Club, 358 W 44th Street, and on Sunday at 12:30 pm at the Adelante Theatre, 25 W 31st Street, New York City.

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