tv Tavis Smiley PBS January 13, 2015 11:30pm-12:01am EST
good evening from los angeles. i'm tavis smiley. five years ago today haiti was hit with a massive 7.0 earthquake devastating the island nation. first up, a conversation with pierre labossiere, co-founder of the haiti action committee. we then turn to a conversation with academy award winner marion cotillard starring in the new movie "two days one night." we're glad yowl join us for those conversations, coming up, right now.
and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. five years ago haiti was hit by a catastrophic earthquake which killed hundreds of thousands of citizens and left countless others wound and homeless. the aftershocks of the devastation are still fight five yirs later. tonight i'm pleased to be joined by pierre labossiere. one of the most respe8!2jñ progressive voices on haitian politics in a long time. social just it advocate and pierre labossiere, honored to you have on this program. >> a pleasure. thank you. >> what do you make of haiti?
five years after this massive earthquake? >> you know, it's very terrible situation and particularly people as we speak now on the streets of haiti demonstrating, they are demonstrating this morning. they were demonstrating their anger. the fact that so many -- so much that could have been done for the people has not been done, and many people on the streets. many people still don't have a decent shelter, and conditions of the country, the economic conditions have worsened terribly. the earthquake, as terrible it's a terrible natural disaster. however, what has happened to compound the problem has been man-made, and there is no excuse noor situation. >> come to the man-made problem that have compounded the result of the earthquake, as you mentioned in a moment but i'm trying -- i suspect many watching are trying to juxtapose
what the protests are about five years later with trying to juxtapose that with all of the money that was pledged five years ago? i don't remember the number. i'm sure you could tell me but a massive amount of money pledged to haiti for that earthquake? >> exactly. i've heard figures of $11 billion. >> $11 billion? >> $11 billion. and people have said that there have been reports that $6 billion actually made it into the country, but these are figures that are being thrown about, but then when you lookdm(u the situation underground among the population people are saying, where is that money? where did it go? who did it help? and so many of our people are still on the streets, and the conditions are so bad that it's -- that's the big question and right now you have actually two haitian attorneys who have filed a case, demanding to find out regarding the interim
commission for the reconstruction of haiti and the chairman of that commission is former president bill clinton and they are demanding to know, some transparency in terms of what has happened with that money. >> we all recall president clinton was in charge of this project. so if $11 billion was pledged and $6 billion, if numbers are accurate, made it into the country, we don't have any assessment of where that money might have gone? my question is -- five years later, we don't see anything we could point to the to suggest that some of that money was well spent? >> well, there have been things. certain things. for example, there was money spent on building an industrial park, but people were saying, look that money should have been for the people, for the people who have lost their homes. there have been some other -- some other accounting based on what you read in the press but overall, when you look at the situation of those who have lost their homes, people have been
displaced displaced, and the situation in terms of reconstruction, not much has been done, and this is quoting from various newspapers various publications and various reports. >> five years later the cholera outbreak that happened after that earthquake contained? better? same? what do we make of the health situation -- >> it's a terrible situation, again, it's a terrible situation, because the cholera outbreak was completely neglect by the united nations. people were infected with cholera and they actually, if i may say that word did their business, you know, in the water, the main river in haiti, and people downstream were drinking that water, and that's how the cholera spread. so instead of refocusing resources to do deal with that they were so busy doing damage control claiming they had nothing do with it when all evidence pointed to they were responsible for it and now there
are various figures, about 850,000 people infected. some figures are lower, but about 10,000 people killed dead, as a result of that cholera epidemic. so it's -- at different time, it flares up again and you see massive amounts of money. for example the u.n. forces that are occupying haiti, there's a lot of money being spent on the u.n. forces, on their presence, but haiti has so many problems of infrastructure, of health care of schooling, educdn for our people, that this money could have been better used for our people. >> you said a couple of things about the u.n. i want to go back and pick up right quick. >> sure. >> number one, as unintentional as it might have been that u.n. workers were doing their business in that riv around folks upstream were drinking that water, five years later, did you ever make any -- any reckon pence for that? what happened? >> no.
they haven't done anything because they are saying they have immunity. they spent many years saying that they had nothing do with it, but then they are saying right now that they have immunity. >> we didn't do it but if we did, do it, we have immunity ji that's your position? >> exactly. >> okay. you made the comment a moment ago the u.n. is occupying haiti. whenever you use the word "occupy" that's a loaded term, being the loaded man you are, you used that word deliberately, not apologetically. what do you mean by that pierre? >> what i mean haiti had a stable government a democratic government of jean-bertrand aristide elected overwhelmingly by the people. years ago there was a kidnapping, came and kid napped president aristide, it wasn't just in the present tshs was a coup in the masses of the haitian people, because almost every elected official was
dismissed summarily. this is and why i want to present this idea, of the problems that haiti is experiencing now have been so compounded by the man-made disaster of that coup. that coup really destroyed a lot of the infrastructure of the country. things that were being done in terms of health care for the people hospitals being built, construction, drinking water, clean drinking water for the population. having a good sanitation system. all of that was destroyed and it was done by a sabotage of the country, and that did, the u.s. bloc front supposed to go and help put this infrastructure into place. so what happened when the hurricanes and international disaster hit haiti, then there was nothing there really, to be in support of the population, and so the u.n. forces that are there, they are there to maintain the status quo. they've been there for the past
ten year, and in ten years, haiti has been under the control of the international community, so-called friends of haiti, and right now the situation, the condition, the economic conditions for the population of haiti are worse than they were when haiti was being ruled by haitians. >> former president jean-bertrand aristide is now of course, living back in haiti. >> that's correct. >> but i remember what you referred to a moment ago as a u.s.-led coup of aristide. i remember this well, because at the time, and this was written about in a book, it's in the text and my name is in this particular chapter because randall knew, i had been talking to randall on the phone. i was in miami about to board a private plane to go to haiti to interview president aristide at the presidential palace. he'd been -- granted me an interview because all of this stuff was about to go down. aristide grants me an interview i'm about to hop on this plane
to head to haiti, port-au-prince to interview him and i got a phone call a message from secretary of state colin powell that that might not be a good idea. i knew secretary powell and, you know, these are my words. he was at least concerned enough or kind enough to let me know, tavis this is not where want to be right now because something's about to get down. no heads up on what wa about to go down, just from mr. powell's office, tavis, don't do this. the plane never took off. i never left. i'm watching cnn a few minutes later, an hour or so later and i see aristide being whisked out of the country by u.s. forces. the story then and it all of these years later as the u.s. government will tell is is that they did that to save aristide. if aristide had not gone on that plane with the u.s. military forces he would have been assassinated, killed, the u.s. government said they did to save aristide and save anarchy in the country. your view, randall the view all the others later was it was a u.s.-led coup. tell me why you feel that way?
>> yes. because we had been -- the haiti action committee why was in haiti when -- in 2001 and i remember on the way back, reading an article from one of the u.s. papers in the plane quoting a former state department official saying that it will take a coup to get rid of aristide and i knew right away something was going to happen and everything else that was occurring at that time led us my whole organization and other people to see that there would be preparations for a coup. and so we were very active in trying to stop this from happening over
so-called international community. >> leads to my question then five years after the earthquake we all we've talked about tonight what is the political situation in hate ji how stable is the country now for whatever is going to happen to put this country where it needs to be on stable ground on -- on -- on strong footing? what's the political situation in haiti five years later? >> five years later what we have is still a continuation of the coup. we have a current president who was put in there by several people of say secretary of state hillary clinton and martin leezmart leads daelt leadsdale and he's quite a dictator. he tried to bring back -- >> he died a couple months ago? >> yes. >> 2014. >> yes. what brings us hope is the facts that the haitian people are in the streets. they are protesting. they are demanding their right to vote. they are saying we need to see on the table.
to see that haitians can do for self. for example, we look at the university of the foundation medical school where the president came back from exile and reopened the school within six months, and the school is -- it's now -- it's a medical school. there is a nursing school. a law school and a school of first therapy, turning out good people who haiti needs, as opposed to the united nations forces that have been killing our people, conducting rape, bringing cholera into the country. so when you contrast the ten years of democratic interlude in haiti, from 1994 to 2004, you dmar to kpir that to the 2000 it 2014, during which haiti has been under the occupation of those forces, the u.s., haiti has received much money during that span of time, and the situation is very clear. the people are not getting better life. as a matter of fact, things are worse for our people.
>> i love the people are haiti. they are resilient, more than anybody i can think of on the globe, yet these political and economic and -- and social questions that remain five years after this massive earthquake is why we come back to haiti as often as we can on this program. pierre labossiere, thank you for coming on and giving us an update on what things are like five years after in haiti. coming up, marion cotillard in a new movie "two days one night." stay with us. pleased to welcome academy award winner marion cotillard back to this program. she won an oscar for a 2007 film "la vie en rose" currently playing in "two days one night," playing a factory woman fighting to keep her job after having taken a leave of absence.
dardenne brothers are who of my favorites brothers but i never thought i'd have the opportunity to work with them because they usually work with belgium workers and less -- not that well known -- i don't know how to say it, like. >> yeah. >> so i was very surprised when they asked me. it was kind of a dream to work with them, but the dream that i wouldn't dare to have kind of -- because i thought it was impossible. and then i read the script, and i -- it resonated with questions that i have about how we have created this this state of feeling worthless useless in our society, which is-dhsh is -- which is a dip question and when i read the script it made sense for me to be part of this
adventure, because of these questions that i have. >> you main the way we treat working-class people? >> everybody. i mean i think our society has created this, and i've never read anything about some people who struggle to find their place in our society, in, like -- the south american tribes. they struggle to find their place in this crazy world, but not in -- inside their society they -- they don't question their place on earth. as we do in our society. >> yeah. i want to come back to the dardenne brothers who you worked with in a second. i jumped so fast. i should back up and ask you to tell a little bit more about the character you play, for those who haven't seen the film. tell about your character. >> yeah. so saundra is -- sandra has just
recovered from a very deep and serious depression and she had to quit her job, because she was sick, and then she's about to go back to work and she has this news that the factory has asked her co-workers to choose between their bonuses or her being back to work, and of course, they -- they chose their bonuses because they need it, and it's going to be -- she's going to fight for her dignity in a way. >> yes. the brothers you wanted to work for i read more about them and i was like, why did marion want to work with them, because their process -- i read the way they work. they ob youdly do wonderful work but they shoot scenes over
and over, and every direct hear his or her, their own style, but what was it about their work that made you want to work-that's a lot of work seems like for an academy award winner? >> that's a lot of work for an actor, but i -- i love it. i love what i do, and i love working a lot, preparing a lot, and so that was -- i mean they are very demanding, and very hard workers, and i really respect and admire people who do movies, because they need to do it, and not just for -- i mean something else than the need to tell a story. and i -- i've seen all their movies and i love them all. which is a big thing already, and i know that to achieve this what they do becoming that close and even being so realistic and
and -- and to reach the authenticity, it takes -- it takes a lot of work, and i was ready for that. >> yeah. i want to circle back to where you started this conversation because i have some of these questions myself but i want to get inside your head. when you raised these notions of worthlessness and uselessness in our society questions that you were wrestling with around the time you got a chance to see this script. tell me more about these questions that you were trying to resolve or that you're wrestling with? >> i don't know if i tried to -- i mean, it's questions that i have, because this is a fact that a lot of people struggling with finding their place and a purpose, and in our society, because -- because of a lot of
isolation. >> uh-huh. >> a lot of disconnection between people. and -- and i -- i read things about people who would -- who would question this to the point point, to question their their life and to the point where they would think about ending their life. >> suicide. yes. >> so -- so, yeah. that's -- i read about about year before i read the script and then when i read the script tshs really resonated with these questions, i think. i'm very interested in beings, and i've -- i'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to explore different human
beings, and beyond my -- i mean, when i was doing french movies i explored my own culture, and the opportunity to -- to be a polish woman or a belgium woman or an italian woman, and explore more than my own culture is very important for me and i think, yeah, so those questions -- i think i'm an actress because i'm very interested in this very special animal that we are and what we've created on this planet. >> so obviously, as an actor, you have to infuse the character with whatever it is that you bring, but i also assume that it's a sim beeymbiotic relationship in that there's something you learn from every role you play. taken a leave of absence, wants to go back to work and they
basically vote her out of her job. what's your takeaway from playing a character like that? what do you learn from playing a character like her? >> i think -- i think one of the things that i learned was to understand, maybe, that even when you are a mother -- she has two kids -- who need her but it's -- you need to find your place as a human being beyond being a mother, and it's important to -- to find this place, and some -- some woman, some women can be just mother
but i don't think so. i think a woman is a complex animal, too, and that's -- because when i first read the script and i -- and her journey, i was like, but you have your kids. you're important. you're not nothing, because you have your kids. but still you need to accomplish something that is -- that is -- yeah. finding your place i guess. >> yeah. we all have to have a reason to believe. we all have to find our place and the truth of the mat sir that we all struggle with that in different ways, i think, and the way this character struggles with and it the way you bring to life was beautifully done. marion cotillard stars in the film "two days one night." i am pleased always to have her on this program. marion, thanks for coming back and all the best to you. >> well, thank you. that's our show tonight.
thanks for watching, and as always, keep the faith. for more information on today's show visit tavis smiley @pbs.org. hi i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for part one of an exclusive conversation with the only two african-americans in the u.s. senate, cory booker and tim scott. that's next time. we'll see you then. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
rose: welcome to the program. tonight, commissioner bill bratton of the new york police department on cops communities and security from terrorist attacks. >> i see my role in the midst of all of the storm and contro versy is to keep moving fromthe police department forward so it's delivering effective services trying wherever i can to work with the mayor to bridge the differences and difficultyies with the unions but also, to bridge the difficulties with the community that quite clearly voted him in to. rose: commissioner bratton for the hour next. funding for carly"charlie rose" is provided by the following: >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> rose: additional funding