Tulsa Filmmaker Shows Different Side Of Haiti

Monday, July 12th 2010, 9:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK – Monday marked the six-month anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake. The January quake killed hundreds of thousands of people.

A Green Country filmmaker just returned from the relief efforts in Haiti.

He's produced a video that he says shows a different side of the disaster. And it's getting some attention from an international pop star.

After a natural disaster ripped the nation apart, an image of destruction is the picture most people have of Haiti. A country in shambles a people in desperate need of help, but a Green Country filmmaker wanted to show the world the Haiti most people never get to see.

"It's not just some impoverished nation," said Jonathan Wooley. "It's really an amazing culture and some amazing people and very, very, very strong."

Jonathan Wooley is behind a viral video that's getting thousands of hits every day on YouTube.

"It's just taken off and that's been nuts," he said.

Wooley just got back from spending two weeks in Haiti working for Hands On Disaster Response.

"It's all just like dust and rubble and broken down buildings and all of these people trying to still make their living and trying to still survive and trying to go about any sort of normalcy," he said.

The Hands On volunteers worked hand in hand with local residents to clear rubble and help rebuild schools.

"That was pretty impressive the fact that the markets still exist but people don't have any place to go home to," Wooley said.

Wooley says his video grew out of the Haitian obsession with the World Cup, borrowing from the Shakira song that became one of the event's anthems.

What started as a few volunteers dancing in the streets turned into a block party attracting hundreds.

"Before you know it the people that were there who were following us from the first dance, the second dance they were dancing with us and the third dance even more people are dancing," Wooley said.

Wooley says even in the shadow of crumbling buildings the Haitian people are not broken.

"It's about these people who experienced some of the worst losses that you can experience as a nation," Wooley said. "And still have enough power, strength and will and joy to be dancing in the streets six months later."

Shakira got wind of Jonathan Wooley's video and put a link to it on her website. And he says it's being played on Haitian TV.