Cheryl Ariaz Wicker interviews Dan Parris and David Peterka about their dramatic documentary, “What Matters.” The film chronicles their resolve to live in extreme poverty in a journey that included 15 countries. This feature length documentary is the experiences of the three friends who went across 3 continents while trying to live on $1.25 per day—the average wage of a person who lives in Kenya’s Kibera slum.
Dan had traveled to Kenya in 2005 and the contrast between the unpaved roads, inadequate plumbing and sewage, and poorly constructed houses made of mud, sticks, and scrap metal contrasted greatly with his own lifestyle of comfort and extravagance. Wanting to make a difference, Dan decided to rely on his passion for filmmaking to reach others. The idea was also spawned by friend Rob Lehr’s asking him why he should care about poverty in Africa. In 2007, Dan, Rob and David began fundraising and development for the documentary. All three left for Africa on July 5, 2009.
The ultimate goal was to make a film that was funny, adventurous, compelling, and thought-provoking. They want to appeal to Christians and agnostics/atheists, the activist and the apathetic viewers. It basically boils down to challenging the viewers to ask themselves 2 questions: “What breaks my heart?” and “What makes me come alive?” Then, find a way to put those things together.
To learn more of the many adventures, including surviving a plane crash, go to their website at www.whatmattersfilm.com