Stories

Vol State student shows Haiti documentary

Submitted on April 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Vol State student Frantz Massena was born in Haiti. He was able to visit his family a few weeks ago, and recently screened a documentary he made of the trip.

Massena wants to convey the message that Haiti isn't hopeless. "To help someone you don't have to degrade them. I was starting to see the pattern of only showing misery," he said.

"When I got to Haiti I was thinking that I was going to bring them hope. I came across a lady that was holding a baby underneath a dwelling place made of sticks and a blanket. I started talking to her; I wanted to find out her story. She has three kids. I asked her how she lives every day. She said, 'by faith.' Our life in America is structured in a way that we know that we will get a paycheck and can get food. There is always an option for Americans," Massena said.

Massena mentioned disagreement from an individual in how he did his documentary. "There was a lady at a church in America when I got back from Haiti that thought that it might have sent a bad message in my video since I was giving money to people who are in need," he said.

"My purpose for going to Haiti was if I felt someone was in need I was going to help them. The American dollar is worth more in Haiti so I felt like that was the best way to help the people. I think when people want to spread their beliefs they will say all types of things," said Massena.

"I don't want to keep going with the idea of hopelessness. My film is kind of political. I want to portray them in a positive way. People weren't afraid over there; even the children. They were dealing with it. They need help but they aren't hopeless. I'm not going to portray them as hopeless just to get them help," Massena said.

Massena wants as many people as possible to see the documentary of this trip. "My goal is to talk to as many people as I can. People shouldn't be helped simply because they are portrayed as helpless; kind of the mindset that we are going to help you and save you from your circumstance. You help people because it is the right thing to do. Organizations should go there with the idea of finding out what the needs of the people are." he said.

Massena hopes that eyes will be opened to the hopefulness of Haiti after seeing his portrayal of the earthquake aftermath.

The documentary can be seen by going to: http://www.volstate.edu/International/Action.php

It was produced by Frantz Massena and Mario Coleman in association with NCWCC Build A Youth, and edited by Mario Coleman.

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