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INDEPENDENT LENS: Children Of Haiti

Airs Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Denick, age 14, in his neighborhood, Haiti. “Children of Haiti” follows three teenage boys who reflect on their country and their lives, while sharing a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance.

In the midst of Haiti’s lush mountains and historical relics, hundreds of thousands of orphaned and abandoned children wander the streets day and night. Known as the Sanguine (“Soulless”) and forgotten by their own people, they struggled for survival even before the devastating 2010 earthquake.

Street kids singing at night in Haiti.
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Above: Street kids singing at night in Haiti.

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Haiti’s history is riddled with corruption, natural disasters, political upheaval, and long-term rampant poverty. Since the earthquake, millions in aid dollars and thousands of volunteers have barely made a dent in the rebuilding process. Can anything save Haiti? Share your ideas

"Children Of Haiti" follows three teenage street boys, who reflect on their country and their lives, sharing a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance. Following the evolution and transformation of these boys into young men, this film provides insight into Haiti’s ongoing abandoned youth problem.

In the voices of the street boys themselves, the film examines a complicated issue that has plagued the country for decades and grows more severe by the day.

Shot in the historic northern city of Cap-Haitien over a period of three years, "Children Of Haiti" reveals the country’s strange contrasts; a land of breathtaking landscapes and remarkable heritage, but also great human tragedy, all seen through the eyes of these prolific, poetic boys. Despite the nearly insurmountable obstacles, they show that a few can still manage to find hope, and even a little joy, in this harsh reality.

"Children Of Haiti" is on Facebook.

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Video Extra: Independent Lens: Children Of Haiti

Above: How has the earthquake impacted the already dire lives of Haiti's orphans? In the midst of Haiti's lush mountains and historical relics is an epidemic of over 500,000 orphan children who wander the streets day and night. Known as the "soulless" and forgotten by their own people, they do what they must to survive each day. This film follows three teenage boys who share a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance.

Video

Video Excerpt: Independent Lens: Children Of Haiti

Above: In the midst of Haiti's lush mountains and historical relics is an epidemic of over 500,000 orphan children who wander the streets day and night. Known as the "soulless" and forgotten by their own people, they do what they must to survive each day. This film follows three teenage boys who share a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance. In this clip, Filthy streets and beaches jeopardize the health of Denick and his friends.

Video

Video Excerpt: Children Of Haiti

Above: In the midst of Haiti's lush mountains and historical relics is an epidemic of over 500,000 orphan children who wander the streets day and night. Known as the "soulless" and forgotten by their own people, they do what they must to survive each day. This film follows three teenage boys who share a common dream of education, government assistance, and social acceptance.