Blood Brother (2013)
Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 7
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Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.5/5
User Ratings: 1,156
Blood Brother is the story of a group of children infected with HIV and Rocky Braat, a disenchanted young American that met them while drifting through India. They were left on the doorstep of a slum orphanage by their families: he had bounced between parents and jobs his whole life. He wanted to adopt them all, but in reality, he couldn't cure even one of them. He had to stay. Today, he lives in a concrete hut a few hundred yards from the orphanage. Every day he encounters the bitter reality of
Oct 25, 2013 Limited
Feb 4, 2014
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In contrast to social-issue films filled with talking-head experts and bullet-point graphs, this is a portrait of a caregiver that goes to the core of motivation -- in this case, the need to share love.
Blood Brother is about as well-meaning as a doc can be, yet its humanitarian message is often tainted by the ceaseless demands for attention stemming from the fragile ego of its subject, rootless young American Rocky Braat.
A deeply affecting psychological portrait of a young do-gooder as he adapts to the regularity of tragedy in his new life.
"Love is making someone who is sad feel happy," one girl says, answering an interviewer's question. "Blood Brother" showed me that love. I doubt I'll be the only one.
A documentary with an originally structured first-person narrative. But it is still insufficiently directed, and some of what it omits makes it seem suspect.
For all their carefully performed camera-awareness, the film is also strikingly precious, seemingly utterly unaware of the clichés it's using.
Braat is clearly adored by the children. "It took some time to train my mind" to see past their disease, he admits. But he's clearly found his home.
In spite of his clear love and admiration for Braat, Hoover is also brave enough to consider the ethical questions that arise from any well-intentioned First Worlder's attempts to alleviate suffering on the other side of the planet.
Braat's choices remain a mystery throughout, something that adds to the appeal of this unusual documentary.
There is a tension created by the film as we have to wrestle with our own cynicism about people who make grand sacrifices, their reasons for making them, and the ways in which others tell their stories.
If you're thinking you don't want to see another AIDS documentary, please keep in mind that this isn't anything harrowing or self-important. It's really Rocky's story, and it's a truly amazing story of selflessness and heroism.
What starts out as a profile of filmmaker Hoover's best pal turns into a remarkable journey into the human soul.
Too often it places Rocky's need for approval in the spotlight instead of the children whose lives are at risk every day.
Beautiful. John Pope's sun-dappled cinematography, like (subject Rocky) Braat himself, strives to find the loveliness in their impoverished surroundings.
It's clear that both Rocky and Hoover have been greatly changed by their experiences; what's more surprising is how effective Blood Brother is at moving the audience as well.
Rocky's journey of self-realization undoubtedly has a universal resonance to it that intermittently yields poignant and inspiring moments. But where are the poor Indian kids in all of this?
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