The Silent Famine

On November 14, 2015 by danielhalsall in Documentary

about / vision

Famine often grabs the headlines as big international charity organisations try to mobilise their loyal supporters to help the starving people ‘there’. Meanwhile a hundred million unseen and unheard people suffer the same desperate hunger year after year.
This documentary sheds light on the sub-Saharan Burkina Faso, where people from the villages fight the always present threat of ‘Structural Hunger’.

For the documentary we tried to do things in a slightly different way, we wanted to show Burkina Faso in it’s entirety, not just the grim parts, but also the good parts of life there. We met with local film and television-makers and asked how they saw their country. It’s easy to paint a grim picture and only just show the horrors, we wanted the documentary to be more then that.


We went with a small crew armed with DSLR cameras so we could slip behind the scenes unnoticed, and shot some amazing footage. We had a great set of local partners which were vital in covering as much ground as we could and get to the depth of things in the time we had.


I have to say that Burkina made a very deep impact on me. It’s one thing to see a picture of starving infants with their little bellies, it’s another thing to see them in real life. What I didn’t expect though, and it still marks me today, is the pain in the eyes of parents who lost their children. During the interviews this really struck me, they were open and pouring out their hearts, and it was painful to see. They have almost no hope that the children will rise up out of the situation. If you get to be five years old in those villages it’s an achievement.