None of these trips to film the intimate details of those caught up in the Fourth World would have been possible without the people “on the ground” who helped the filmmakers gain access to communities understandably cautious about outsiders. Many of these photos are a behind-the-scenes look at what took place on the film trips, giving you access to images not seen in the film.
La Limonada–the slum we filmed in in Guatemala City–is more than 60,000 people crammed into a one-mile long ravine. Steep, wooded ravines are not ideal places to live, that’s why the place was available for squatters back in the day. The community continued to grow to its present state, with Guatemala City growing all around it. We spent a week in La Limonada, getting to know Selma and Tania, the women you’ll meet when you watch “The Fourth World.”
Mathare Valley is one of the largest slums in Africa, certainly in Kenya. Though we had many slums to choose from–including Kibera–we chose Mathare for a few reasons. First, the producer had strong connections in the slum, making access much easier. And as we did with all the slums we shot in, we tried to find slums that aren’t as famous or well known as others. Kibera, for example, is a well known slum in Nairobi and lots of people go there to take pictures. Mathare Valley is a bit harder to find, less well known, so that’s where we chose to shoot.
This slum is on the outskirts of Manila, a stone’s throw from the Bay of Manila. There are so many communities like this one, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Through friends of friends who work in the area, we connected with the Alquino family (you’ll meet them when you watch “The Fourth World”.) We had a delightful week with them, getting to know them, filming them in their daily routines, going to school and so forth. Having that time was precious as it shed light on the plight of the more than 1 billion people living just like them.