I Want To Be A Pilot

I Want To Be A Pilot


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Part poem to the disenfranchised, part documentary, I Want To Be A Pilot is the story of Omondi (played by Collins Otieno), a 12-year-old living in Kibera in Kenya – the largest slum in East Africa.

Slum is absolutely the word for the filthy area we see the boy making his way through the a child’s voice-over tells us “my last meal was Sunday. Today is Wednesday,” and speaks of dreaming of being a pilot “to fly away from the ghetto”.

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You can’t failed to be moved by the plight of the child as he picks his way over a mountain of rubbish, and yet the voice-over poem keeps you at arm’s length. Clearly written by an adult – although based on the testimony of lots of orphaned children – it squirms about for a categorisation, hanging between being a reality-rooted piece of fiction and a documentary.

That the child reading the narration auditioned for the part adds a layer of unreality and you can’t help feeling that the children’s actual testimony, rather than an adult reworking of it, would have had more impact.

Reviewed on: 26 Aug 2007
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A child's brutal life in East Africa's largest slum.

Director: Diego Quemada-Diez

Writer: Diego Quemada-Diez

Starring: Collins Otieno

Year: 2006

Runtime: 10 minutes

Country: Kenya


Sundance 2007

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