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“The True Riches”- a film about education in Sierra Leone

Leonard Leesch

(director, DOP, editor)
in collaboration with Karl Große
(sound / production assistance).


30 minute documentary about local game changers in Sierra Leone. In a series of interviews and cinematic vignettes, the film grapples with the civil war, education and the social projects that provide hope.

Education in one of the poorest countries in the world: in 2013 Sierra Leone was the country with the third lowest GDP per capita in the world. Education is an essential task to fight poverty, illiteracy and corruption. Educating the younger generations also helps to clarify and overcome the civil war that took place there between 1999 and 2002. How do people process experiences like massacres? Hardly anyone talks about it, yet the topic hangs over the capital city of Freetown like the smog that arises every day: everyone breathes it in, but no one knows how to get rid of it. Those who stay there long enough have already become accustomed to it. People live here in a beautiful fertile land, but still prefer their crowded capital Freetown as their center of life. How can a country develop when the president and his relatives are among the richest politicians in the world? Schooling and education seem to be the solution. But if even the education system is corrupt, how does the transfer of knowledge work?

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