Examining the healthcare crisis in Haiti, Once There Was A Country highlights the rich cultural heritage and the little known triumphs of the country that became the first black-ruled nation after the first successful slave revolt in 1791. The 55-minute film, narrated by author Maya Angelou and her son Guy Johnson, sheds light on the health-care crisis in Haiti, currently the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere.
The film’s director Kimberly Green, of the Green Family Foundation, spent two years filming the documentary where she followed two families in Haiti’s Central Plateau town of Thomonde. We meet the Sonsons, a family of eight suffering from tuberculosis, and LaRochelle, a young man whose family ostracized him after learning he was HIV-positive.
While the focus of the documentary is to educate others of the country’s horrible healthcare crisis, the film illustrates Haiti’s fatal economic condition of failed governments as well as the country’s deteriorating ecological system. With charcoal being the only source of fuel for many Haitians, millions of trees are chopped down causing Haiti’s forests to disappear at a rate of 15 to 20 million trees a year.
The Miami-Herald calls the film “a great history lesson and a wonderful demonstration of how everyone can make a difference.” The movie’s trailer can be viewed below. To purchase or to organize a screening contact firstname.lastname@example.org.