The Kindness of Strangers (2004)

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Release Date:

29 January 2004 (USA)  »

Box Office


$23,000 (estimated)

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Can we be altruistic? A topic investigated during this exceptional documentary
12 April 2008 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

The boxing day tsunami was a tragedy that sparked world wide humanitarian action, and inaction. The tsunami and its aftermath resulted in an extreme environmental change, and people's reaction to the disaster provides unique insight into human nature, including altruism. During The Kindness of Strangers, people trying to alleviate the distress of those affected by the tsunami are interviewed along with prominent academics (such as Richard Dawkins) who comment on research findings and their applicability to the humanitarian efforts portrayed in the movie. The documentary offers insight into the action and inaction of people able to help those in need, and investigates how this reflects on altruism in human nature. An exceptionally well balanced documentary. Its unfortunate, however, that government officials were not able to be interviewed regarding their role in the disaster relief effort.

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