"There’s a myth that lots of evangelicals use. I heard the story when I was in Haiti doing a documentary, “Rescue,” about Haiti’s orphans. The earthquake had just happened; we were covering children dying. It was horrible, and Haiti was bad before the earthquake, but after it was horrific. I would say, “Why are you here? You have a passport?” The woman had 56 orphans in her care in a sea of 450,000 orphans and she said to me, “You know the starfish story. A boy is walking along the beach, tides gone out, all these starfish had been beached. So he starts picking up starfish and chucking them back in. A man comes up and says, ‘What are you doing? This beach goes on for miles. There are literally a million starfish on this beach. You’re wasting your time.’ And the kid picks up a starfish and says, ‘Well, I guess it matters to this one,’ and chucks it in.”
It became a theme for our documentary about Haiti’s orphans. Her philosophy was, someone’s going to have to lead Haiti in a new era, and it could be one of her 56. For me it was: These stories do matter. You feel like you’re out slogging away at these stories that are untold. I don’t run into other people doing those stories. They are the stories about the American fabric. I thought it was a really good analogy for what I was trying to do. Starfish always regenerate. There’s not much you can do to kill that starfish."