I Want To Fly High by Lindsay Swiggum


Just last week in class we watched the short documentary, I Want To Be A Pilot. I know we spoke about this in class, but this is a film that truly touched my heart and I could not help but feel the need to write about it. It is my favorite piece we have seen so far.

This film sheds light on the poverty in East Africa.  It was shot in the slums of Kibera, Africa, the biggest slum.  A place where 400 people share one toilet… In the video a boy recites a poem written by Diego Quemada-Diez, a man who traveled to Kibera and saw firsthand what these people live in each day.  In the film they follow Collins Otieno, the voice that narrates the poem, through the slums… his home.  We see countless shots of the homes, the piles of trash, the life these people endure everyday, all the while listening to Collins.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a sure estimate of the budget and how it was funded.  The number I saw on IMDb.com claims they had a budget of about €14,000, but that seems a little high to me.  He first entered this into a film festival and has now won countless awards across the globe for his production.  Diez has a phenomenal website where you can learn more about the situation in East Africa, as well as watch the film.  It is about ten minutes long.

Based on all the awards Diego Quemanda-Diez has won, this was an extremely successful film.  Many people across the globe were moved after viewing the story, and I know they were all moved in different ways and for different reasons.  As I watched the film, I was sitting in a classroom in Rome, Italy, listening to this orphaned boy who dreams of flying far away from the slums where he lives so he can accomplish his goals and dreams.  I have three adopted siblings from Bogotá, Colombia in South America.  As I watched this film I could not help but think of the blessing my siblings are and what my parents have done for them.  It’s because of my parents that each of my siblings has been given a chance to live their lives and have the ability to dream…Collins says:

I want to be a pilot.

To a place far away.

Where my mum and dad are.

So they can hug me.

So they can kiss me.

So they can love me.

So I can hug them.

So I can kiss them.

So I can love them.


This film has given me an even greater understanding of what humble and wise parents I have…and I am so proud to say I have two brothers and one sister.  They are adopted from Bogota, Colombia and they are my family.


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