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‘Blood Brother’ documentary film will be shown at the St. Mane Theatre

Thu, Jul 31st, 2014
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

Rocky Braat has changed his own life and the lives of HIV-positive children by picking up his life in Pittsburgh and moving to India, as documented by filmmaker Steve Hoover

In a partnership with Frozen River Film Festival, Lanesboro Arts Center will host a screening of ‘Blood Brother’, which won the 1st Place and People’s Choice Winner of the January 2014 festival held in Winona, Minn. The film will be shown on Friday, August 22, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mane Theatre in Lanesboro, Minnesota. Tickets are $5/$3 for LAC members, available in advance at Lanesboro Arts Center, 507-467-2446, and at the St. Mane Theatre beginning at 6:30 p.m. on film night.

The film tells the story of Rocky Braat, a young man from a fractured family and a troubled past, who went traveling through India without a plan. Then he met a group of HIV-positive children living in an orphanage — a meeting that changed everything for him. “To be honest with you, I didn’t really like kids,” writes Rocky in a blog post. “I went to an orphanage for HIV- positive children in Chennai, India off a recommendation from a friend-of-a-friend. The only reason we flew into Chennai was because the flights were cheaper. Shortly after a week, my friend and I both wanted to leave. The suffering at the orphanage was more than I could bear; the heat, the smell, the discomfort and the mosquitoes. 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. The thought was enough to cancel our flights and turn us around.” Rocky left his life, friends, and career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to live with the kids. Steve Hoover, his best friend and filmmaker, was unsettled and intrigued by this drastic action. In an effort to find out what compelled Rocky to give up every source of stability in his life, Hoover decided to trace Rocky’s story, following him to India. He witnessed Rocky and the kids endure disease, abject poverty, and death. But, strangest of all, in the midst of these troubles, he also saw their deep joy. And he came to understand why Rocky had given up everything he had to experience it. ‘Blood Brother’ is a story of friendship. It’s a story of a life, stripped down to its essence. Most of all, it is a story about love, enduring in the face of death.

‘Blood Brother’” has won numerous national and international awards, such as the Sundance 2013 Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, Hot Docs 2013 Audience Award, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Audience Award - International Section, Atlanta 2013 Audience Award for Best Feature, Milano Film Festival Awards Best Documentary, Gdansk Documentary Festival Audience Award, and Big Sky Documentary Festival Best Feature. This film is presented in Lanesboro in partnership with Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF), chosen for this screening based on overwhelming response by audiences at events held in Winona, Minn. in January 2014; more information about the FRFF annual festival at www.frff.org. Lanesboro Arts Center is located at 103 Parkway Ave N. in Lanesboro, Minnesota. The St. Mane Theatre is located one block north of the galleries, at 206 Parkway Ave N. Lanesboro Arts Center serves the community as a regional catalyst for artistic excellence and educational development in providing diverse art experiences for people of all ages. 507-467-2446 / info@lanesboroarts.org / www.lanesboroarts.org.

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