The Slum

The Slum

2014, Society  -    -  Playlist 18 Comments
Ratings: 8.09/10 from 89 users.

An epic document of living conditions within one of the world's poorest regions, The Slum is human drama of the highest order. Produced in six parts by Al Jazeera, the film allows us to experience the totality of what it means to live in an environment riddled with great struggle, abject poverty, rising crime, and faltering opportunity.

The first episode places us in northern Manilla, where we're introduced to many residents who wage a daily battle to provide for their families and community. A fisherman suffers through days without a catch, and worries what will become of his family if his net remains empty. A nurse attempts to deliver a baby in a medical clinic devoid of proper tools or acceptable sanitary standards. A community worker provides birth control counseling in an attempt to curb exploding population growth.

In the early moments of Episode 2, a weathered father of six scavenges for valuables in a sea of landfill waste. Tens of thousands of residents just like him toil at various menial jobs to support their families. But even when they manage to garner a "decent" day's wage, they remain at the mercy of an insufficient educational system, poorly financed medical care, and scarcely staffed emergency services.

Episode 3 sees the effects of an oncoming tropical storm. Nearly six thousand families find themselves without food and water, and their homes and businesses are badly damaged. Charity organizations come in to supplement the meek relief efforts of a sluggish government.

As storm season passes, a disturbance of a different sort comes to town. Episode 4 covers the region's election cycle. Politicians can't afford to ignore the slums during this time simply due to the sheer number of potential voters who reside there. Some of them even pay for votes.

Episode 5 follows the tribulations of homeless families who occupy a long abandoned toxic dump. We witness one family's faith restored as they manage to break out of their environment into more secure government housing.

The conclusion of the series continues on this note of hope as we track the efforts of those who work to achieve their dreams. A ballerina in training longs to study and perform in other parts of the world. A local athlete saves money to buy and operate his own gym. They are - like every man, woman and child profiled in The Slum - a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

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4 years ago

Tell them about BIRTH CONTROL, please.

5 years ago

@Ceci: Why not share with us your sharp knowledge of that same causes and cure? Just to state such, seems meaningless.

What would I do if I were poor in a slum with very little to eat? I would find the part of town where farmers come to sell their food or other items and follow them FAR out of the city. So far into the country people like myself have not been seen looking for work. Then I would offer to work for food for a week and if they liked my work then for what they could spare above the food and shelter. If not them, in time I would find the right situation where I could save enough. I would be learning all the time from the people I work for. In time I would buy tools that I could start a business with, whether it is digging ditches or fixing cars or fixing harvesting equipment or whatever is needed.

In any city you have too much competition and the cold mindset. If you think this is easy to say... My brother more so and some myself have helped just such people who had little to nothing, learned how to do more, saved enough to buy a used car, and drove to where there was more plentiful work.

If people are unwilling to move, what hope do most of them have? Many people, even with an education have to move to find work.

I do understand that it is more difficult for a women with several young ones to move but it is possible, actually necessary. You cannot better your condition by surrounding yourself with more of the same in terrible conditions.

Now if churches, charities, the govt, and social workers truly wanted to help, instead of pretending, they would locate capable farms and businesses that could take in a poor person with a good attitude and screen both sides extremely well so it will be a success. More will try it if their neighbor had good results.

What is the result of getting something for doing nothing? A lot more of doing nothing.

For all the emotionalists, no where in this comment is forcing those who are incapable or invalids to drag themselves around doing things, although I have seen at least one and they were happy to do it, to get out and do something productive.

Shall we blame the banksters, govt, politicians, etc. or the people themselves that allow those that desire to take advantage, to keep people poor so they can easily and cheaply buy votes and just keep promising change while changing conditions for the worse (obama). That is the same in the slums of the usa as anywhere else.

5 years ago

9:05...."Your child is beautiful", midwife says.. (Mom smiles)
"She is fair-skinned...", midwife continues (Mom SMILES BIGGER)

So pathetic the long lasting mental abuses and effects of colonialism all over the world!
AS IF a child in the tropical sun needs fair(white) skin! For what, increased susceptibility to skin cancer? She will not have money for sunblock cream that's for sure!

The causes of poverty and slums worldwide are the same, all have the same cure!

Marissa maningat
6 years ago

How do I view episode 3 to 5?

6 years ago

How sad and heart wrenching it is to watch people striving to exist in such bleak surroundings and circumstances, while countries spend billions on arms and armaments. A small investment in providing marketable skills to the poor will go long way to alleviate extreme poverty and make the world a better place for all.

6 years ago

How disappointing....only was able to view 2 episodes

social work student
6 years ago

can someone tell me how do idownload this film? ill use it for our film viewing activity

Usmankhan Lodi
7 years ago

it is full of sorrows that humankind living at that place

J. Kroecker
7 years ago

Should be required watching for the Pope.

Jeane Kroecker
7 years ago

Why can't I get Episode three and, presumably, beyond??

7 years ago

Read the well written book " Gold Warriors " and You will get a whole different view of the U.S.A. , Japan , Germany , World War Two , and the entire massive illusion that surrounded it all.

Prakash Khatiwala
7 years ago

Some how the slums are the only constituencies the religions establishments like Catholic Church thrive on. Neither the rich care nor they matter to these religious bodies.

Prakash Khatiwala
7 years ago

Pope lives in surroundings which can shame a royalty in comparison and discourages birth control. In India the Moslems are against birth control and consider it their religious duty to produce children. This medieval Moslem mindset upsets Indian Hindus who have appreciated the importance of family planning for bettering their lot. Their fear of demographic balance falling in favor of Moslems with adverse consequences in times to come is justified. The stupid secularists instead of appealing to Indian Moslems to accept family planning for their own good consider objecting Hindus communal. In keeping with modern world (read as West), the Hindu section of India constitutionalized everyone's right to be treated on par irrespective of gender, religion, cast, color or creed but Indian Moslems have not been able to come to terms with the humanitarian approach of Indian constitution.

Mike T.
7 years ago

The real shame is that the Catholic Church doesn't advocate birth control. With all the Billions of dollars they have, what do they do with it? They make sure they are surrounded by gold and opulence! Their government is no better in doing anything to clean up these areas that repulse the very soul. The only ones really fighting are the honest people that struggle daily to survive.

7 years ago

I LOOOVE the Catholic church.....they know how to make suffering and poverty like the DEVIL.
No ...... birth control leads to starvation and suffering and were is the shitty pope with money to feed these people ???

mike dobberthien
7 years ago

i love this channel