A Small Act (2010)

A Small Act (2010)

A Small Act




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

A Small Act Videos & Photos

Movie Info

When Hilde Back sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She certainly never expected to hear from him, but years later she does. Now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, Chris Mburu decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor. The top students in Mukubu primary school are in the exact same situation as Chris once was. … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Jennifer Arnold
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 24, 2011
HBO Documentary Films - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for A Small Act

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

The film couldn't be more heartening -- yes, individual actions do make a difference. But it's bittersweet as well.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

More of a telethon-ready fund-raiser than a work of dramatic reportage.

Full Review… | October 27, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Arnold just expects her audience to accept that Mburu's doing the best he can and revere him for it.

Full Review… | October 26, 2010
Village Voice
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

A quiet, affecting, affirmative film.

Full Review… | April 17, 2011

Palpably sincere and quietly moving.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
This is London

Audience Reviews for A Small Act

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but as I write this, I'm in tears after watching this extraordinary documentary. Full disclosure here...I know many of the people behind this one - -Writer/Director/Producer, Jen Arnold, D.P./Producer, Patti Lee, and Editor Carl Pfirman - - and couldn't be more proud. A smash at this year's Sundance festival, and subsequently aired on HBO, this film is simply beautiful. We see how an elderly Holocaust survivor, living on her own in Sweden, was able to make such a difference by sponsoring a child's education in Kenya...and how this one small act reverberates around their respective communities. At times so tense (especially during a sequence where children await the results via text of a potentially life-changing exam), my heart was pounding. I was especially impressed by the wonderful cinematography, editing, and humanity of the piece. Opening sequence images instantly conveyed the power that we all live under the same sky, breathe the same air, and are responsible for each other, regardless of man-made borders. I grew up in a family that sponsored a young boy in the Philippines, and years later, I had the privilege of meeting him there in person. As a child, I didn't believe he existed, cynically thinking the whole thing was a hoax. He was real, and grateful. I felt our family had made a difference. This wonderful documentary reignited those same feelings. Bravo to everyone involved.

Glenn Gaylord
Glenn Gaylord

Super Reviewer

Best Documentary I think I have ever scene. So well made. And the story it tells was so amazing. I was so drawn in and emotionally invested I couldn't help it. What a great lesson for life. Determination. Inspiration. I can't say enough great things about this movie and those portrayed in it. We rented it from the library. It is worth seeking out.

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