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ReelEarth: Hope and Hustle in Nairobi

Posted on 1/1/2019 12:00:00 AM in What We're Watching

A note from independent filmmaker David Conover on why he chose this film:

In this film from the ReelEarth Collection, filmmaker Nathan Collette features a famous hip-hop artist named Octopizzo. His story is rooted in the neighborhood where he grew up, called Kibera. Approximately four miles southeast of Nairobi, Kenya, Kibera is Africa’s largest urban slum. Tall, lanky, and dressed in bright blues and yellows, Octopizzo walks us through Kibera’s over-crowded housing and narrow streets. The faces of passersby light up as they recognize the rapper. Octopizzo credits the challenges Kibera threw at him for strengthening him for success. Unemployment here is high. Clean water, sanitation systems, and healthcare are scarce. Nonetheless, Octopizzo is full of optimism, humor, and charm. He shares what he has learned from fatherhood. We watch the production of his music video, and learn where he finds his colorful and distinctive wardrobe. Through this intimate access, we glimpse one man’s neighborhood as he sees it. Not a dark place defined by extreme poverty and disease, but a place of colorful creativity, entrepreneurial zest, and humanity. A must watch!

Produced by Nathan Collett

About David Conover:

David Conover, a long-term partner of O.A.T. and Grand Circle, is an award-winning filmmaker and conservationist whose work has appeared on Discovery Channel, PBS, and National Geographic Explorer. He is the founder of Compass Light Productions and the nonprofit Conservation Media Group, and was recently the Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College. Learn more about David here.

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