Documentary filmmakers Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci visited St. Christopher’s on Thursday, October 5 as a part of the Journeys to Manhood Speakers Series put on by the Center for the Study of Boys. Chris and Zach are the producers of “Living on One Dollar,” a film that explores poverty in Central America and “Salam Neighbor,” one that humanizes the Syrian refugee crisis. Both are available on Netflix.
Chris and Zach explained that both projects began with “wait, what?” moments. For “Living on One Dollar,” this was an awareness of the fact that millions of people in Central America live on one dollar a day or less. For “Salam Neighbor,” it was understanding the reality of Syrian refugees who are forced to completeley rebuild their lives in a new country through no fault of their own. “It was these ‘wait, what?’ moments that inspired us to learn more,” Chris explained.
“Salam Neighbor” captures the two filmmakers’ experience of living in a Syrian refugee camp in 2014. During the presentation, Chris and Zach talked about the relationships they built with their camp neighbors. They shared the story of a young boy named Raouf who refused to attend the school that was set up in the camp. Only after talking with the boy’s father did they understand why–his school back home in Syria had been bombed.
Throughout the talk, Chris and Zach invited the boys to imagine how they would respond if they were faced with some of the complex situations the Syrian refugees faced. For example, they asked the boys to think of one item they would take from their home if they were forced to flee their homes under cover of the night.
Mixed advisory sections from grades 6-12 met in small groups following the presentation to discuss what they learned.
Chris and Zach spoke again at 7:00 p.m. at a free, public event attended by people from across the Richmond community including Clarence, “Bucky” McGill, a member of the Syracuse 8 who presented at the Journeys to Manhood event in 2016.