RAZ IN THE URBAN JUNGLE
THE URBAN JUNGLE
FAVELAS / SLUMS / GHETTOS / SHANTYTOWNS
No one wants to end up in a slum…
yet for 1 in 6 people around the globe, it’s home.
…THAT’S OVER A BILLIONPEOPLE.
DOCUMENTARY | TRAVEL ADVENTURE | REALITY
THE SLUMS AS YOU’VE NEVER EXPERIENCED THEM BEFORE
Raz in the Urban Jungle is a raw, eye opening docu-reality series where our host Raz enters the world's most infamous slums to live side by side with the local slum dwellers. From gangsters and sinners, to heroes and saints, our host will delve into the lives of different characters within each slum to experience and grasp the different realities and perspectives of life in the Urban Jungle.
This edgy and provocative series will focus on controversial themes that exist within the walls of the ghettos. By delivering an uncompromising account of opposing perspectives to each story, viewers will be driven to challenge their own preconceptions of love, power, sex, violence, poverty and survival.
LIVING IN THE SLUMS
Raz will take us on a journey to experience some of the harshest realities man has to endure in order to survive and in some cases thrive.
Have you ever wondered would it be like to live in a slum? What if you were stripped of all your basic comforts and safety, left to survive without food, shelter or sanitation? Could you survive the favelas? These are just some of the challenges we will face on our journey into the slums.
In each episode we will enter a different slum from around the world. On the surface, all slums may all look alike, sharing the same difficulties such as massive density, pollution, crime and poverty. Yet as we dive deeper into each reality, we will come to understand how each slum is a universe of its own, with its own set of unwritten rules and regulations, codes of conduct, customs, smells, sets and settings.
Inside each slum we will tackle a controversial theme that drives the central narrative of every episode. From gangsterism in Rio, to the betting business of child fighters in Thailand, to lovers stuck in the West Bank, for each story we will closely follow the lives of different characters who will share their unique perspectives to each topic.
By living side by side with each character, Raz will connect viewers to real human stories which may be unfathomable and at times unsettling, yet have the power to provoke, inspire and challenge. Through this fully immersive and authentic approach, we will also experience the many complexities of life in the slums, understanding first-hand how they eat, sleep, rejoice and grieve.
Beyond simply parading the toxicity of crime and poverty, this series aims to go beyond violence and discomfort, to ultimately capture the human essence that ties us all together, and give a voice to the unsung heroes lost in the cracks of social injustice.
NOT ALL SLUMS ARE THE SAME
INSPIRATION AND REFERENCES
INTRIGUING PREMISES. UNIQUE CHARACTERS. FASCINATING UNFAMILIAR WORLDS
FIGHTING FOR A WAY OUT
Kicking and punching each other before a ferocious crowd, the Muay Thai Child Warriors are forced to fight from an early age by parents who wager every penny they have on them. In Thailand, child boxing is more than a tradition. It’s a thriving business, that despite the dangers and strife inflicted upon the children, remains a practice backed by an entire culture.
THE EXPERIENCE: Raz will follow the lives of two young boys contending for the championship title: living with them, training with them and interacting with the principle characters who most exploit and influence these children. From the trainers, to the families and the agents, they all play a part in manipulating the industry for their own interests. By spending time with each of them we’ll understand the challenges and motives that drive their actions; which for most are unacceptable, yet for those surviving the slums, remains their only way out.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
BROTHERS IN ARMS
Peace in the Brazilian slums is intensely difficult as organized crime rules in Rio. The ongoing turf war between gangs continues to parade striking violence, while military efforts to create a safer city remain questionable, and local residents are regularly caught in the crossfire between gang wars and police raids.
THE EXPERIENCE: In the notorious Brazilian favela, Raz will live on both sides of the law, slipping into the shoes of the police officer and the gang member while living with the family that ties them together. Whether following the gangster controlling the drug trafficking on the streets or joining a police raid, the Rio experience will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Raz’s journey into the lives of characters at opposite ends of the law will reveal the personal stories that challenge preconceived notions of justice hope and crime .
PALESTINE / JERUSALEM
LOVE AMIDST TERROR
Between Palestine and East Jerusalem lies a concrete jungle of massive buildings swamped by the smell of burned garbage hovering the streets. Kafr Aqab, also known as no man’s land, is a district abandoned by both Palestine and Israeli authorities which has become a breeding ground for criminals and terrorists. Yet for marriages where partners come from opposite sides of the wall, it is the only place where they can live together legally and where their love can bloom.
THE EXPERIENCE: Raz will spend time with some of the residents of Kafr Aqab: A couple that cannot live on either side of the wall, a terrorist who takes matters into his own hands, and a checkpoint soldier who guards the borders. Each experience will shed light on vastly different realities, linked by the desperation of being stuck in a forgotten world.
HOPE IN TOXIC TECH-WASTE DUMP
An electronics graveyard filled with fridges, computers, and monitors sits beneath a permanent cloud of black smoke as the Agbogbloshie burner boys burn tech-waste to salvage precious metals like copper, aluminum and lead. Many young men have found a way to earn a measly wage doing the most dangerous jobs in the dump. Though they found income where they would otherwise have no means of earning money, they are ultimately paying the price of their own lives.
THE EXPERIENCE: Raz will follow a young worker who dreams of becoming a soccer player, a father starting a new recycling business, and a migrant who leads a group of ‘burner boys’ making their way up the working chain. In the world’s largest e-dump, Raz will explore the implications of the men and their families living on the toxic site and will shed light on the global issue of tech recycling.
Nearly 3.5 million children in Bangladesh between the ages of 5 and 15 are working, with a staggering 1.2 million engaged in life threatening and hazardous work.
THE EXPERIENCE: Raz follows a 9 year old runaway who lives with a pack of homeless children and is forced into hard labor to scratch a pittance for survival. As Raz steps into the micro-universe of lost children surviving the Bangladesh slum, we experience how these children survive on the streets with great insecurity and fear of attacks from the police, criminals and other slum dwellers. By following them throughout the day and to their work place, Raz also meets the business owners who illegally employ children to work in their factories, exploiting them for dangerous and life-threatening jobs. While in the Dhaka, Raz also lives with a couple who has lost their child, helping them reunite with their runaway boy.
BORN INTO THE SEX TRADE
The caste system is a framework of social hierarchy in India that has existed for centuries. People are born into a caste and cannot change which one they belong to, and for many women in Calcutta, this means a life of prostitution.
THE EXPERIENCE: Raz follows a 9 year old runaway who lives with a pack of homeless children and is forced into hard labor to scratch a pittance for survival. As Raz steps into the micro-universe of lost children surviving the Bangladesh slum, we experience how these children survive on the streets with business owners who illegally employ children to work in their factories, exploiting them for dangerous and life-threatening jobs. While in the Dhaka, Raz also lives with a couple who has lost their child, helping them reunite with their runaway boy.
Our host, Raz Degan, will be the backbone of the series, guiding the narrative and molding the adventure into an authentic and fascinating experience. His unique and extraordinary capacity to penetrate the most remote areas of the world, and relate to people of all walks of life is a fundamental factor to the success of the show. By immersing himself in the local reality to become one of the ghetto, he will bridge the gap between worlds acting as a reference for the stark contrast between our privileged lifestyles and that of the ghetto.
Being a filmmaker, Raz has developed the sensitivity which capture the human essence with a cinematic expression that extracts beauty amidst chaos. His larger than life imagery is known to portray the soul of his subjects and depicts stories of ordinary people that are larger than fiction.