By Nico Machlitt
“Give a Damn?” is a documentary film that follows three friends over the course of three months, while they hitchhike from St. Louis to Kenya on $1.25 a day.
Dan Parris, leader of the group, had been to the second largest slum in Africa, Kenya’s Kibera slum in 2005. Then in 2009 he left with his friends David Peterka, the activist and Rob Lehr, the skeptic. When they went to the slum in Kibera they encountered extreme poverty.
While traveling to Kenya they had experienced some poverty, eating little and sleeping in bad places. But in Kenya it was a different story: there was no electricity or indoor plumbing and the education rates were low. Many of the people there were affected by HIV; you could not find a person who was not either HIV positive or knew someone who had HIV.
The documentary ended with Parris and Lehr being in a plane crash and being flown back to the U.S. Peterka then continued the journey with his brother.
He also started a charity called “When the Saints” and he is planning on building a rehabilitation center in Malawi. There is also now an HIV testing center in Kibera.
The event included a question and answer session with the filmmakers. Parris, Lehr and Peterka all answered questions at Hofstra USA after the screening.
Stephanie Kahn, a member of the SGA programming board shared her thoughts on the film.
“I think it’s so inspirational and I wish that more people did stuff like that and I hope that one day I have the opportunity do to something like these men did,” she said.
She wasn’t the only one inspired. Student Eathyn Cookman felt that the film was moving.
“I thought it was especially moving when they showed the reaction of the village children when they first met the men in Kenya,” she said.
Parris ended the question and answer session on a spiritual note.
“One thing I learned is that life is not all about me, by being the one that is the most hurt [in the plane crash], I was like, ‘God why am I going though this? I was doing something good,’ and he said, ‘I was using you how I see fit,’” Parris said.