In the wake of Hurricane Maria, a quiet revolution has been percolating on the island of Puerto Rico. What began as an impromptu community kitchen meant to help feed survivors in the town of Caguas quickly grew into an island-wide network of mutual aid centers (Centros de Apoyo Mutuo) with the ultimate goal to restore power — both electric and civic — to the people.
For the past 18 months, Shareable has been working with a team of filmmakers, writers, audio engineers, partners, and funders to share this story with the world. Today, we’re excited to announce that Shareable’s first documentary film, “The Response: How Puerto Ricans Are Restoring Power to the People,” has been released for public (and private) screenings.
Watch the trailer:
The 30-minute micro-budget documentary explores community-led disaster response and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico; letting the people involved in the mutual aid centers tell their own stories of the storm, recovery, and the tenuous relationship between the Puerto Rican people and the government.
Despite the grave nature of this storm, which many believe to be the worst disaster to hit the United States or its territories in the past 100 years, this story is also celebratory. For some, there is a deep joy that has accompanied the sadness; a feeling of solidarity and possibility that didn’t previously exist in the same way before the storm.
The film also acts as a reminder of how damaging climate-fueled disasters can be and urges us to consider how resilient our communities are, how best to adapt for the changes ahead, and how to respond and rebuild in a just and equitable way with extra consideration for the most vulnerable populations.
Hosting a film screening is a great opportunity to bring people together for a dialogue about the lessons learned in Puerto Rico and how your community can increase your resilience to disasters or other disruptions that you may face in the future.
Sign up to host a free screening in your community by filling out this short registration form: www.shareable.net/host-a-screening-of-the-response-documentary
We’ve created a simple toolkit that goes step by step through the screening process to make sure that your event is a success.
This article is part of our series on disaster collectivism. Download our free series ebook here.