I was intrigued every-time they showed a clip of Blood Brother when they advertised the new Sky Atlantic Documentaries show. The story of a guy about my age, living with a bunch of HIV infected children in India seemed quite fascinating. Today I managed to catch up on it and I am left speechless. I couldn’t believe what I was watching as I bawled my eyes out, laughed and then stared in amazement and what this guy was doing.
The subject of this documentary film by Steve Hoover is Rocky Braat and his kids at the orphanage. Steve felt unsettled and intrigued about his best friend Rocky’s whimsical move to India and decided to make a film about it.
Rocky’s upbringing is quite tragic in itself and the fact that he seems to have found some eerie kindred spirit like connection with these kids a million miles away from his home does make sense. Throughout the movie you can see the weird bond that has been formed between these kids and Rocky. It isn’t just a friend or care-taker type bond, Rocky has become their father.
Until I watched this documentary I had no idea about the issues that people who are HIV positive go through. I knew they are more susceptible to infections and illness but some of the things shown in this film are just too painful to watch. More so because these are kids and to top that pain up a notch, kids with no family. I don’t remember ever bawling my eyes out the way I did when I watched this documentary. I also don’t remember being made to feel like the biggest asshole in the world, until I watched Blood Brother.
I can never be as self-less as Rocky is but I do wish I could someday use (my love)- technology to help kids in some way or at-least design some system that empathises with people through their pain and lets them know they aren’t alone. I spent 22 years in India and never once visited an orphanage. Instead I moved to the UK. Then there is this guy, born in the US who moved to India and shares the same living conditions as the children he works for. This movie was also a big slap in the face of my hypochondria/anxiety/depression/worry and fear. These kids were literally on the brink of death, sometimes they lived, sometimes not but their attitude was so brave. They had no room to sit and cry over their imagined fears, they didn’t even have the most basic need of any human child- a mom and dad. To top it off, they were in a poor orphanage and being surrounded by villagers who weren’t too keen on getting involved with them as they are HIV positive. For anyone who need a reality check, this is a must watch. Even if you don’t need one and have your life figured out, this is still a must watch!
We celebrate movie stars and musicians. Its folks like Rocky who should be celebrated.