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Blood Brother
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Reviews & Ratings for
Blood Brother More at IMDbPro »

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Index 13 reviews in total 

18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

A Must See Film

10/10
Author: cassandrakirby3 (cassandrakirby3@gmail.com) from Pittsburgh, PA, USA
22 January 2013

It is excellent film. I believe with all of my heart that it is a must see film. Steve Hoover made this film about his best friend Rocky Braat, because he was impacted and felt this story needed to be told to others. I agree with Steve and I am grateful his was able to tell it. Rocky gave up everything he had here in the states and moved to India, to take care of orphaned children with HIV/Aids. I know Rocky and Steve, they are being totally real. I feel that this is very inspiring and leaves me wondering what could I do to make a difference in someone's life, like Rocky is making. It is about giving unconditional love to others without expecting something in return. It is about the challenges that life can bring and how one might react to those challenges. This story is ongoing and updates are posted to Youtube.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Blood Brother is a Must-See

10/10
Author: Kara Snyder-Keane from United States
11 February 2013

Blood Brother is a beautiful and compelling story that takes the audience on an emotionally complex journey with Rocky Braat, Steve Hoover, and HIV positive Indian orphans. What I loved most about this movie is that it demonstrates that true love gives a person the strength to do and endure things far beyond what that person could ever imagine that s/he could do and that even the most ordinary person has the capability of doing and being a part of something extraordinary. One of the most poignant and hardest to watch scene was Rocky at the hospital taking care of the orphan near death. Rocky didn't just sit with the child, he acted as father and nurse staying by the child's side the entire time and cleaning up the oozing sores that covered his body including his eyes. Warning, this movie will leave you changed and will make you want to be a part of something outside of yourself.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful film about the power of love!

10/10
Author: erik macaulay from United States
29 January 2013

This is one of the most incredible/emotional films I've ever seen. As the previous reviewer described, it's about an American who gives up everything to go work at an orphanage for children with HIV in Chennai, India. It's hard to comprehend the vast suffering and abandonment that the children face, and the castigation on top of it over the fear (even well intentioned people have) of catching HIV from them. Yet it's ultimately a hopeful film made possible by the love and compassion of Rocky, and his friends who decided to make a documentary about his life/work. This film is so powerful and worth seeing on so many levels. It's certainly about love and compassion in the face of incredible suffering. And the willingness to look it in the eye and embrace it, literally. But it's also about marriage, family, healing, doubts, feeling overwhelmed, sacrifice, joy, beauty and pizza. Yes, pizza. And perhaps, it's also an opportunity to reflect on and re-frame the struggles and challenges we face in our own lives. Many thanks to Rocky and the film-makers for making the journey-- it's a portal into their world, and ultimately our own!

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Best Documentary I've Ever Seen

10/10
Author: Scotty from Denver
14 December 2013

I was totally blown away. No excessive writeup is needed. It's powerful, authentic and raw. It's the best documentary I've seen because you just feel like you are right there with them. Just see it.

I must write more because IMDb won't accept my review without 10 lines of review, so you can ignore this part if you want. I wont' put any spoilers in either so you can be blown away by this movie like I was.

Films like this go to the theater and are ignored by the ordinary film goers, but they should not be. We should all see movies like this because it brings hope to our spirits. In this hopeless world, I cannot think of a better way to bring hope than to give your life to HIV orphans in a far off place.

Again I urge all of you - just see this movie.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Explodes with Love, Heart, and Hope

10/10
Author: Eric Carr from Tucson, United States
30 January 2013

At the our screening of Blood Brother at the Sundance Film Festival, the filmmakers had to ask the audience to stop our standing ovation. As a host for Sundance Film-Forward and the Human Rights Watch Film Festivals, I've seen hundreds of docs, and Blood Brother is far-and-away the best documentary our group had seen in years, and the best film we saw at Sundance this year - period. The film doesn't just have heart, either, but is full of stunningly beautiful cinematography with scenes that make the filmmakers seem impossibly lucky. The film swells with emotive music, inspired events, unscripted words of incredible wisdom, and moments of raw transparency. In the end, it becomes a film that transcends its genre.

At its core, Blood Brother is a universally appealing film, which I believe is one of the reasons it was such a rousing success at Sundance. It is a buddy film, a hero's journey, a drama, a comedy, and a love story all rolled into one epic documentary that reminds the viewer just how beautiful and valuable even the most tragic of lives can be. After the film, Rocky (the subject of the film) and the film crew hung around to answer questions, and it was clear that the film was an honest and genuine glimpse into the lives of extraordinarily compassionate people who truly live up to the radical kindness expressed in the film. It certainly deserves every accolade it has garnered so far.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Triumph of the Spirit

10/10
Author: Sherri L. VandenAkker from United States
21 January 2014

This film moved me deeply. It shows the difficulty, thanklessness, pain, and also ease, gratitude, and joy humanitarian's work. You fall in love with the children, and admire the hero, even though he is presented in altogether human terms.

Well-filmed, beautifully edited, genuine and full of heart -- this film will endure. Although the children in the film are living with a fatal disease, and some die during filming, the film leaves you with hope.

This film will stay with you, and inspire you to make a difference, maybe to take a risk, and to re-examine your priorities--without a moment of preaching.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Friends are the family you choose

8/10
Author: wilson trivino from United States
24 March 2013

They say friends are the family they choose and Rocky Braat went all the way to a little village in India to find his "family". His heart and soul came alive as he saw how he could make a difference in a little orphanage that helped children and their mothers with HIV. This movie follows this remarkable tale of self discovery as filmmaker Steve Hoover chronicles the epiphany his best friend and "blood brother" has as he transitions from the big city of Pittsburg to the annals of India. A very moving movie that shows you that within suffering, there are glimmers of happiness and hope. I saw this film as part of the Atlanta Film Festival and was deeply move by the spiritual message of discovering one's path and being true to yourself.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Wow!

10/10
Author: James H from Texas
22 October 2013

The most moving Documentary I have ever seen. The editing was great. It was like we were there with them. I was moved by the day to day struggles, and hungered for the little victories. Some parts were difficult to watch. You will want to bring tissue paper for this one. There really are no films or documentaries that are similar, but Rocky's Journey does remind me of the Journey that Mother Teresa took. His life is a brilliant example of what love is. Well done. I was frustrated for driving over 30 miles to go see it. Having seen it, I would gladly drive 300. I look forward to hearing more about the hostel and opportunities to make a difference.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Extraordinary

10/10
Author: coxeliz from United States
10 November 2013

The best film in years that I have seen. This is a documentary but the director has created what I consider a paradigm shift similar to Ken Burns' work with Civil War series with his amazing use of graphics and cartoons and with his informal style of interviewing people. Rocky is brutally honest and vulnerable in this film and anyone who sees it will be moved by his humanity and courage. He is the real deal. A lot of people aspire to do volunteer work that makes a difference for people in foreign lands. Rocky delivers. You will fall in love with the children and the people of India in the film - but it is not sugar coated. There is no whitewashing. He is truly a modern warrior for these angelic but tough minded kids who are historically ignored and forgotten.

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Lacking in depth

3/10
Author: lizkave
21 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

****WARNING **** SPOILER ALERT ****

I was deeply moved by the acts performed by Rocky Bratt, the staff at the orphanage and the children who inhabit it while watching this movie. From what I could see many acts of generosity, selflessness and love contributed positively to the lives of the families within the orphanage.

However, there were numerous instances during the viewing of this film when I was struck with unease regarding the portrayal of Bratt as selfless savior as well as the portrayal of the community where he worked. I also found some of Bratt's behavior to be professionally questionable. Below are some instances in the film that contributed to my unease.

With regard to professional responsibility, I found the instances when Bratt and Hoover sought comfort from the children in the orphanage during their times of grief troubling. For example, when the young girl dies half way through the film, I found it inappropriate for Bratt to relay the details of her death and seek emotional support from a child living in the orphanage.

Also, related to the girl's death mentioned above, both Hoover and Bratt express frustration that she was not taken to the hospital before becoming mortally ill. No discussion regarding the subjects of poverty, access to health care, lack of education or skepticism of institutions were suggested as possible barriers to her family seeking medical care. What was portrayed was that the community's faith and social practices alone prevented a visit to the hospital. Considering that Bratt had decided to marry into the community portrayed in this film, I would have thought some research into the daily circumstances of the inhabitants warranted.

Finally, at no point are people from the community interviewed about their lives, beliefs and practices. Bratt mentioned that the community was outraged to find out that the orphanage cared for children and families living with HIV. I also got the impression that Bratt disapproved of the community's response. As a health care worker I am well aware of the stigma, fear and misconceptions often linked to HIV and AIDS in almost all cultural settings. I would have thought someone working within the HIV community would have been aware of these social barriers and would have done some legwork within the community regarding.

In conclusion, Blood Brothers is an evocative portrait of one man's struggle to find his place in the world. Unfortunately, it's portrayal of the the international medical relief work performed by this man is lacking in depth and analysis. As such, I did respond emotionally to the powerful acts of kindness performed by the protagonist and others in the film. However, the element of transparency in documentary film making was seriously lacking. This left the viewer and even those in the film to project their own ideas and beliefs on a society left unexplained. I do believe this discrepancy may be a result of the predominantly faith based perspective of the filmmakers. Acts of God (such as Bratt's love / devotional work?) are rarely expected to be proved or explained as effective catalysts of change, only accepted. Acts of God certainly won't address the deep seated problems of poverty and stigma that will continue to subject HIV orphans in India to discrimination. The consequence of which is most often a lack of or withholding of much needed social services.

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