Baseball in Haiti: ‘A bright beam of life at the edge of all that death’

The photo caught my eye, but it was the story behind it that moved me to tears.

IU Cinema director Jon Vickers had shared a link to an Esquire story about Bryn Mooser and David Darg, who will visit the cinema next week to speak and screen two of their films: “Baseball in the Time of Cholera” and “Sun City Picture House.”

Little League team

What might be just the coolest Little League team shot ever, courtesy of Esquire, Mooser and Darg.

He’d mentioned their work was about Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, but I didn’t know much about either film. I clicked through, and was immediately captured by the image of the young boys, making “tough guy” poses for the camera, caps turned backwards or propped high on their foreheads, baseball bats in hand.

The Esquire article tells the story: Mooser and Darg were both working in Haiti, helping there following the devastation wrought when the earth moved, when they joined forces to help ease the misery of the boys of Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.

“(The boys) said they wanted to play soccer, so we got them a ball and tried to organize a game, but they were all so malnourished that after five minutes they were listless, just sitting on the field, having lost interest completely,” Darg told the magazine. “This was going to be a bigger challenge than we thought. We wondered: What game do boys love that doesn’t require as much energy as soccer? Baseball.”

Just like that, the article said, the boys fell madly in love with America’s pastime.

“And just as instantaneously, baseball practice became Mooser and Darg’s favorite time of day, a bright beam of life at the edge of all that death,” Esquire continued. “They’d had no intention of starting an actual team, much less a Little League, but before long the Tabarre Tigers were born, followed by two others teams.”

Mooser and Darg’s film, “Baseball in the Time of Cholera,” tells the story of a young Haitian boy who plays in the island’s first little league baseball team alongside that of a Haitian lawyer seeking justice against the United Nations for a spreading cholera epidemic.

That film screens at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at IU Cinema. A second film follows — “Sun City Picture House,” which tells the story of a Haitian man working in a children’s hospital who recruits Darg and Mooser to help him achieve his dream of building the island’s first movie theater since the earthquake.

Darg and Mooser will also give a Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture at 3 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the cinema. The lecture is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Admission to both films is free, but tickets are required.

Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; one hour before any screening at the cinema; or by phone at 812-855-1103 for a $10 service fee per order.

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