“It’s powerful & shameful”
With ‘Collapse’ the epidemic of misinformation that Puerto Rico experienced during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is evident. A government without data, without transparency and honesty that was unable to articulate the public health emergency that the country was going through. Almost two years later, we see that the poor execution caused the collapse of that same government.
The collapse of a colony dominated by the most powerful nation in the world in the face of a natural disaster, together with the failed response of the governmental apparatus, both insular and that of the ´great´ nation, are presented here briefly, but very illustratively. It exposes, not only the inefficient response of the government to the ravages of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, but its defensive reaction to ‘save face’. This is done in counterpoint with the initiative of a group of scientists to investigate the magnitude of the human tragedy. As Dr. Marques suggests - one of the researchers who recounts the experience - examples of this response are metaphors of the situation experienced by Puerto Rico as a whole. We dare to affirm that at least implicitly, the documentary extends the metaphor to the dynamics that are exposed within a colonial context in the 21st century.
This documentary awakens an urgent discussion about the role of social scientists in the processes of immediate responses to the crises in our countries. Collapse, not only does justice to those who died after Hurricane Maria, but to social research that is produced for the benefit of our people, a powerful tool that unmasks the realities we face as a country.
In a sober and respectful fashion, this documentary is a formidable account of a scientist’s will to know about the fate of thousands of Puerto Rican nationals who died in the aftermath of hurricane María. Those deaths, as confirmed in this movie and in the research project that inspired it, were the result of a collapse of the health system run by an incapable and indecent government that was recently overthrown by the political activism of a diverse and outraged citizenry that is still mourning for the loss of their loved ones.