Father Joseph (2015)—Haiti
This documentary film tells the remarkably inspiring story of the Haitian priest Father Joseph Philippe, who was born into a peasant family, studied in the United States, and then returned to minister to his own people in the isolated mountain community of Fondwa — where 90% of the people had no water or electricity. That was before Joseph started thirty years of sustainable development. It began with building a road, and eventually included a radio station, medical clinic, orphanage, school with over 600 kids, a community center that included a cyber cafe, and a reforestation project that planted over half a million trees. The centerpiece of all this was a micro-finance bank called Fonkoze ("shoulder to shoulder") that now has 46 branches, 800 employees, and 250,000 savers. All this took place in the context of Haiti's two hundred years of very violent political history. Their work has endured murder, torture, threats, and jail. And then came the January 10, 2010 earthquake that destroyed thirty years of life and labor. Undeterred, Father Joseph and his people are rebuilding: "We don't wait for the government or NGOs," he said. "If we see something that needs to be done, we do it. We are people who are making our own history, we make it with our own hands." At 1 hour and 12 minutes, this movie would be excellent for family film night. I watched "Father Joseph" on Netflix.