Jennifer Arnold's doc is sensitive, informative and leaves you with something to think about.
Directed by Jennifer Arnold, the movie follows the causes and outcomes of 'a small act' performed by Hilde Back, a Swedish schoolteacher who made a donation to sponsor a child in Kenya through secondary school. Like many people who may or may not donate to charities, the film opens with Hilde’s thoughts, "What you send in is just a drop in the ocean. I don’t have much, and sometimes you wonder, does it help?"
Her question is answered with a resounding yes. The child Hilde sponsored is Chris Mburu, as a result of the opportunity he had to complete secondary school, he progressed to an incredibly high level of success, and set up the Hilde Back Foundation in Kenya to emulate the help he had received.
What begins as a run-of-the-mill success story slowly reveals a tangled web of connections and a ripple-effect of change, the most significant being that between a lack of education and poverty, making the society more susceptible to politically induced conflict.
This is the inexorable thread that provides a surprising link between Sweden and Kenya; between the elderly Holocaust survivor, Hilde, and young businessman, Chris, who campaigns for human rights against genocide and crimes against humanity.
The successes are kept in perspective when juxtaposed with the still failing Kenyan education system and the increased threat of tribal violence, but you are still left with a sense of hope. Some may think that the documentary is just an elaborate plea for charity, but after seeing what that can do, would that be such a bad thing?
Aren’t there enough charity buckets being shaken on the street?
A little slow at points, but evocative nonetheless.
Sensitive, informative and leaves you with something to think about.