There are times in your life when things just feel like they all fall in place. And for that moment you feel like you are being smiled upon. Exactly a week ago today, Rule29 was able to premiere our second documentary, which we made with Wonderkind Studios and Life In Abundance. This film was about extreme poverty, its complexities, and its depth. Almost a year ago we flew to Nairobi to make a film about LIA’s microfinance initiative in some of Africa’s largest slums. All during the film and on our way home, we were grappling, – I would say struggling, in fact – with what our normal was compared to the beautiful people we just had an honor to meet and interact with for a week of our life. And, because of that struggle, we decided to change the film and focus on the complexity of poverty.
As the film was about to start, I was overwhelmed with thoughts of people not liking it, or the film not making sense, or whatever other ridiculous, anxiety-filled thoughts flooded my mind. As I walked up on stage, my butterflies went away and were replaced by a growing excitement. Here it was, this great piece of art that so many people put hundreds of hours into, and we were about to share it.
After introducing it, the lights dimmed, I sat down, and the movie started on that larger than life fifty-foot movie screen. And then it happened…. I was back. Back at the beautifully horrible place halfway across the world. My heart became heavy and tears started welling in my eyes. Could it be? Did this place actually exist? Could I do more? How can I help this “normal” for my brothers and sisters be different? How? As I let the film take me back, I reflected on all that went on during the time that we were there. I remembered the smell, the condition of the environment, the reality of it all, but also the hope that was around every corner.
The impact of film and story is an amazingly powerful medium. As I along with the rest of the team at Rule29 work hard at becoming better and better at it, I’m always thinking, How can we make this world a better place? Isn’t that something we should all strive to do? I think it is – do you?
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