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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Every year, the G.S. Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital in Banaras,
India provides free surgery to Indian children who are born with cleft
lips and palates. When this documentary begins, social worker Pankaj
helps to spread the word of what the hospital does by travelling from
village to village to inform the villagers of anyone they know to come
for a surgery at the hospital, which will be done free.
One of those he met on his trip is Pinki Sonkar. She is a five-year-old living in one of the poorest areas of India. Her condition meant that she is ostracised and could not attend the local village school. It was Pankaj's meeting with her and her family which would allow them to come to the hospital, where Pinki will have the surgery done without charge.
Pinki's story is similar to the many Indian families who have children having conditions similar to hers, in terms how they look at why their children would have such conditions. One common theory is the children being born under the eclipse. It would be the effort of the G.S. Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital which will annually seeing families coming for consultation of their children's condition.
Pinki would come to have her surgery, and the final result was something her parents have liked. How her life has become since the surgery would want to make the viewer believe that there is still goodwill in the world, making this documentary very heart-warming and leaving the viewer feeling that there is still some feel-good factor about the world.
Megan Mylan's Oscar-winning "Smile Pinki" focuses on a girl with a cleft lip in one of the poorest parts of India, and how a social worker gathers people to go to a hospital to have their cleft lips treated. Part of what we get to see in the documentary is the traditions in the girl's village, and how the townspeople think that her cleft lip resulted from an eclipse. In an era when it's possible to get cleft lips treated, I hate to think how it must have been for people before it was possible. As shown in the documentary, Pinki had gotten ostracized in her village because of her cleft lip. But hope arrived once it got fixed. This one of many documentaries about the good that people have done for each other amid all the bad in the world. I recommend it.
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