Rocky Braat is a young American man who found his calling while traveling through India, after helping out at an orphanage for children with HIV. After spending a few days with them, he found that he couldn’t leave them and so he returned to America, sold everything he owned and went back to help care of the children who thought of him as a big brother.
“Blood Brother” is the Sundance award-winning documentary about Rocky, and was one of the most moving films I have ever seen. Some of it is hard to watch, and it won’t leave many eyes dry. But it is also so inspiring and I found myself thinking about it long after. Many of us see the hardships of others on our travels, or in the media, and feel empathy… wish we could do something… maybe even send a donation. Rocky is doing something. He was so touched by the children’s joy and love in spite of their hardships, that he packed up his life in America to live with them at the orphanage and become a family.
Steve Hoover is Rocky’s best friend and filmmaker. In an effort to find out what motivated his friend’s drastic action, Hoover decided to film Rocky’s as he left his home in Pittsburg to return to the orphanage in India.
Part of the film’s impact is the honesty and vulnerability of how Rocky’s is portrayed. He is not a saint, but a real person who is living with the joy, sadness and frustration that comes with caring for his new family of children at the orphanage. These kids are dealing with serious health problems as well as abandonment and rejection by their families. “Rocky Anna,” which means “Brother Rocky” in Tamil, serves as their teacher, doctor, dentist, father, and friend.
See the “Blood Brother” film trailer.
If you would like more information about Rocky and the orphanage, or would like to make a donation, see their website www.givethemlight.org.