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How (Not) to Build a School in Haiti

After hearing an NPR podcast in the wake of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, semi-retired construction worker Tim Myers is so moved he decides to build a school in the rural Hatian community of Villard. He meets his counterpart Anselm Saimplice, who readily accepts Tim's vision for a new school. Very quickly, things spiral out of control. Trying to teach Haitian laborers new skills, Tim imposes his style of construction and values. And as filmmakers and aid workers spend more time in Villard, Saimplice reveals himself to be quite different from the vibrant, selfless community leader the radio story represented. Subverting the typical NGO film, the filmmakers follow through on unexpected plot twists, weaving them together with expert interviews clarifying the larger historical and social context of the school project. Ultimately the filmmakers have to question their own complicity in the byzantine network of international aid, NGOs and documentary storytelling itself.