Emmanuel's Gift (2005) Poster

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Hope in West Africa
fnorful3 April 2006
Usually movies about Africa (especially documentaries) tell a story with some combination of despair, misogyny, genocide, racism, hatred and/or violence. This tells us about the culture of abandonment and marginalization extended to physically handicapped people in the West African country of Ghana.

We follow Emmanuel's story of determination in the face of long odds to become a full citizen, working to support his family rather than being a burden. It's certainly uplifting and surprising in that it relates his success at becoming not only a successful man, but also a humanitarian and politically astute spokesperson for the handicapped population.

A fairly slick presentation, the film moves along well with Oprah Winfrey's narration and various clips showing his journey. It's a good film to take a family to for its social awareness potential and a nice deliberately-told story.
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one person's gift blesses multitudes
annecan9 October 2005
I recently saw Emmanuel's Gift at the Port Townsend Film Festival, and was amazed at both the tenacity and beauty with which this film was crafted. It not only told Emmanuel's true story, but unveiled for the rest of us the hearts of several new worlds -- Ghana's familial, cultural and political climates, the joys and camaraderie of a global family of "handicapped" athletes, and the world of one confident, determined young man. Beautifully filmed and produced. Masterfully researched and reported. As with the new wave of documentaries making their way to mainstream theaters, Emmanuel's Gift is visually, technically and narratively top notch. First-class film-making and a world-class young man. I would recommend this movie to anyone.
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Emmanuel is not disabled. He redefines the meaning of the word.
John Sexton11 November 2005
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah shows us in this film what it means to confront fear, obstacles, and challenges, and overcome. This man, in spite of being born without one full leg, being abandoned by his father, and cast aside in a country where the disabled are shunned and ignored, decided on one course of action. And that was to become the best he could at whatever God put in front of him. He redefines what it means to be disabled and let things get in the way of becoming the person you want to be. Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern have given us a lovely and inspiring portrait of a unique man. All of us so blessed with opportunities and unparalleled blessings would do well to watch, learn, and be humbled. The Free Wheelchair distribution scene Emmanuel organized for the people in his own home town is some of the most disturbing and touching video you can watch. Emmanuel long ago stopped thinking of himself. His heart is so outwardly focused that his example can only make us better people ourselves.
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The story of a disabled man born in Ghana who is doing incredible things to change perceptions of the disabled in his country.
jennifer-27412 March 2005
This is an incredible film. telling a story that Hollywood couldn't hope to imagine. An amazing effort for first time feature directors. Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah is the main focus of the film, a man who rode his bicycle (donated by the Challenged Athletes Foundation) across Ghana to prove to his countrymen that the disabled can make valuable contributions to society. In addition, Rudy Garcia Tolson and Jim Maclaren share their incredible stories.

Guaranteed you will leaves this film feeling differently about the world than when you went in. This film proves that a documentary can be cinematic ally beautiful as well as tell a thematically compelling Not to be missed. Oh, and bring tissues.
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One Person Made a Big Difference
John Oliver17 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Most documentaries and biographies look back on events and maybe recreate some of them. This movie is very special because the camera tags along during the journey of a courageous athlete. The key events are filmed as they occur and are woven into a lovely mural afterward.

One man faced his disability head on. He not only overcame his personal limitations; he transcended the conditions presented by his deformed leg. He dedicated his life to serve the higher mission. His deeds have improved the conditions for all of those like him in his homeland of Ghana West Africa. His tenacious actions have changed the perceptions and attitudes of people throughout the country.

This is an amazing saga that includes the fields of sports, medicine, charity, politics and education.

The story of this man's life has inspired millions from many walks of life in Ghana as well as the USA. The story could inspire you too.
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timcharitydoyle22 November 2006
How can someone with so little do so much when so many with so much do so little? This man is an example of the greatness of the human spirit. He is a true inspiration. Everybody should see this. In a world full of terrible things, it is a shame that stories like this are buried in independent documentaries and not blasted out for everyone to see. The world needs to see more of stories like this and less of the junk we do see everyday. If you can watch this film and be un-moved, check for a pulse. The lessons learned in this film can be transfered to any country or any culture, including unselfishness, determination, guts, heart, motivation, love, and happiness to name a few. WATCH THIS FILD.
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his gift
mgallelli15 July 2006
What a beautiful gift to receive from a man half a world away! The magnificent cinematography of Samson Chan, the deft production of Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern, and music by Jeff Beal (espeically the infectious Sengalese rhythms of Wasis Diop's "No Sant") come together for a truly uplifting experience. I was taken into the life of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah as he accepted challenge as opportunity, and transformed pain into joy. As he rose above the poverty and oppression in his life, I was reminded that it is I who have the disability when I see someone as less than whole. Don't be fooled by the dismissive reviews from some of the major print reviewers (NYT, etc.). Just open yourself to the experience and you will be moved. My viewing of this fine film comes via The Spiritual Film Circle, which consistently provides access to soul-nurturing cinema.
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