Fighting Cholera in Haiti with a Camera

Posted by on July 26th, 2012


Mention the words “Haiti” and “disaster” and you’re likely thinking about the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 people and left nearly a million people homeless.  But in its wake another disaster is creeping over the island, and there is mounting evidence that this one is manmade.

A cholera outbreak in Haiti has killed thousands of people and sickened many more. Now a new film by David Darg and Bryn Mooser blames the United Nations for bringing the disease to the island and covering up their involvement in the outbreak. They are following up their video with a social media campaign and asking the public to tweet the United Nations asking them to admit responsibility in the outbreak.

After I saw the video, I knew I wanted to learn more about their work and contacted them on Twitter. I learned that Darg and Mooser became friends in Haiti where they have worked for more then two years. I also learned that the duo originally set out to make a film about Haiti’s first little league team but when one of their main subject lost his mother to cholera, they knew there was a bigger story to tell.

Keep reading below to find out more.

How did you find Joseph and decide he was a good subject for your story? 

Joseph is an amazing kid who we both met a few short months after the earthquake. We were working in a tent camp and bringing clean water and medical teams.  Joseph is a bright and curious boy who came right up to us and started talking.  We became fast friends with him and his family.  Joseph loves movies so we built a movie theatre for him and his friends in the tent camp and then we started the baseball team together.  He is incredibly bright and funny and he jumped out as the member of the baseball team to follow

Why did you tackle this big issue from the perspective of a young boy and his love of baseball? 

We originally set out to make a documentary about the baseball team and finding hope through sports but during this time the Cholera outbreak was spreading into the capital of Port Au Prince.  We were both involved in setting up Cholera camps and bringing clean water.  Once the story began to unfold that the UN brought Cholera to Haiti the focus of our documentary had to shift to the much larger and pressing issue and to shed light to the world on the largest humanitarian and environmental scandal of our time.  We were watching so much death and suffering during the day and playing baseball in the evening to help us get our minds off the tragedy of the last year; the stories of baseball and Cholera collided and we had to act and make Baseball in the Time of Cholera.  Through Joseph’s eyes was the perfect lens as he gives the story a human side that is often missed when discussing tragedies

Do you think story-driven videos like this one along with active social media campaigns will be able to engage people in a way traditional journalism hasn’t? Why?

We think this generation needs more that just traditional news.  It’s no longer enough to just read the news.  This generation needs to know what they can do about it and how they can become change.  Our next project is going to change the way people see the news.

Personally, what were the most important lessons you learned while making this documentary? 

Baseball in the Time of Cholera was a challenging film to make and a controversial topic.  It was not easy to film Joseph as he goes through the tragedy of Cholera and at the same time the subject matter (taking on the UN) was not easy since we had to navigate the politics of that.

Anything else you would like to add? 

Thank you so much for watching.  Please share the story to everyone you know at, the more people watch the less the UN can hide from their problem.  Nearly 8,000 people have been killed from Cholera needlessly because the UN brought the affliction to the island.  Haiti never had Cholera before their peacekeepers dumped their Cholera filled raw sewage into the main drinking water source for the country.  This is wrong and they must take action to fix this mess before thousands more die.  Cholera from Haiti is now in the Dominican Republic and cases are popping up in Cuba that may be linked as well.  We must act.  This is a fight of the world.  We are gaining traction.  Last week congress sent a leter to the UN signed by 104 congressmen asking the UN to act now.

Sign the petition, watch the film and share it with everyone.  Watch this powerful film and share, tell the @UN to fix @cholera in #haiti #undeny •

Thanks again to Bryn Mooser and David Darg for their time. You can follow them on Twitter @daviddarg and @brynmooser



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