‘Blood Brother’ documents a man’s decision to devote his life to others
Jan 16, 2014 | 1545 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rocky Braat (right) lives and works with children at an orphanage in India. Courtesy photo
Rocky Braat (right) lives and works with children at an orphanage in India. Courtesy photo
A young American from a broken family and with a troubled past takes a trip to India and discovers an unexpected purpose for his life – through helping a group of orphans who suffer with HIV/AIDS. That’s the story told in “Blood Brother,” an award-winning documentary film that follows Rocky Braat as he devotes his life to caring for HIV-positive children living in an orphanage in Chennai, India.

“Blood Brother” will be screened in Moab on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at Star Hall, 125 E. Center St. Admission is free of charge. The screening is sponsored by the Utah Film Commission in collaboration with the Grand County Public Library.

More than five years ago, Braat left his life, friends, and career in Pittsburgh, Pa., to live at the orphanage with the children. In blog posts about his experience on bloodbrotherfilm.com, Braat describes his first visit to the orphanage and the later realization that he needed to return.

“The suffering at the orphanage was more than I could bear; the heat, the smell, the discomfort and the mosquitoes,” Braat wrote. “We booked flights and said goodbye to the kids. But on the train ride to the airport, something hit me: I’m turning the suffering off, but those kids can’t. I knew I couldn’t take any of them out of that situation, but I could put myself into it ... I can do my very best to make sure they are loved. “

Intrigued by Braat’s decision, filmmaker Steve Hoover – Braat’s best friend – followed him to India, where he witnessed Braat and the kids endure disease, abject poverty, and death. And in the midst of those troubles, Hoover also saw their deep joy and came to understand why Rocky had given up everything he had to experience it.

“Rocky endures a daily diet of rice, a rat infested hut, visa problems. He suffers with the children. He counts out the pills for them in the morning. He is an amateur dentist, clown, teacher, friend and father to the children ...,” Hoover said in a news release about the movie. “I was inspired to tell his story because I know him. I know he isn’t a saint or a miracle worker, but every day he fights his own nature and the forces arrayed against him, and I think that maybe this story could inspire others, as well.”

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