Reportage

The children of Korogocho


“Going to a region as difficult as the Korogocho (Kenya) is not something everyone is willing to do. Even less, when you have to work by day and by night, cameras in hand, in one of Nairobi’s most dangerous neighbourhoods. Messieurs.ch however, took on this Tdh mandate with calm professionalism. They worked closely with the local Tdh headquarters, delegates and communities, always showing the greatest respect. Their compassion, creativity and proactive approach result in films about our activities of which we can be proud. We need films that evoke emotion while remaining informative; this objective has been wholly attained. We are happy to have been able to count on Messieurs.ch for a number of projects already and their commitment to our cause is greatly appreciated.”
Joakim Löb

Multimedia Development Officer

How it all started

Having worked with Terres des hommes on several documentaries in South Sudan, Lebanon and Jordan, we were super excited when they asked us to document their child protection work in one of the largest slums in Kenya. In spite of the risk, we were inspired by the challenging context of this project. We started learning about the various projects Tdh was running there, so we could build up a scenario, carefully preparing the questions that would be asked during interviews of interveners, beneficiaries and Tdh workers. Technical planning was also of the utmost importance; equipment had to be light, robust and mobile so that we could film in even the most difficult of situations. As well prepared as we were, witnessing and working in the slum conditions came as a slap in the face. We were fortunate that Tdh had taken the necessary precautions to make filming possible.

Move the audience

The brutal reality of the subject, caught on film without artifice or special effects, is heart wrenching. Our goal is to find the right balance between the emotional and the informative, bringing both elements together to tell a story that captures then retains attention and finally, inspires the viewer to take action.
The roofs of Korogocho
Smile !
Future cameraman ?
Capturing unique stories
Toughest conditions we've ever filmed in
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Team insights

Gabriel
Production Director
Korogocho was one of the most challenging environments I've ever worked in. The entire experience was a lesson in life; inspirational on a personal and professional level. Relaying stories is an essential part of our work. It's one of the things we enjoy the most. We carry out our interviews with the greatest respect for the individual, opening doors to troubling discussions, with careful consideration for each word pronounced. In the slums, it was hard to keep our emotions in check while the children told us about their lives. We constantly had to take a step back to stay focused and not break down. Working in such a hot climate was physically draining as well, nothing like the work conditions we're used to in Switzerland.
Gabriel
Production Director

Focus on : Storytelling

Even with a well prepared storyline and scenario, the hard part starts once the trip is over. Two weeks of filming interviews and b-roll shots by two inspired cameramen means one heck of a lot of images to sort out. In Kenya we made daily selections of the best images and interviews. Back at the office, we wrote dozens of post-its summarising each one. This gave us a clear overview of our content and the story started taking shape. Over 1’200 shots and hours of interviews were brought together into a 13 minute documentary.

Credits

Client - Terre des hommes
Direction - Messieurs.ch
Camera - Messieurs.ch, Valentin Dubach

Need more information? Want to get in touch?

Valentine, our dedicated production manager, would love to.