Staff Picks: Movies
Staff-recommended viewing from the KPL catalog.
The Human Experience
The Human Experience is a documentary film featuring Jeffrey and Cliff Azize, two brothers who go on an adventure to discover the meaning of life. Jeff asks the ageless questions: Why are we here? Where are we going? Jeff and Cliff grew up in an abusive home, no love, no security. Now they live in a halfway house in New York City. They and two friends decide to explore communities where people shunned by society live.
Grassroots Films actually films the events as they happen, thrusting the truth at us. For their first experience they live homeless for one week in New York City in February’s frigid 5 degree temps. They converse with the homeless and discover a commonness amongst the homeless: humility and vulnerability, a desire for dignity and respect.
For their second experience they travel to Peru with Will Kinnane, founder of Surf for the Cause, a group of surfers who work on community projects. They volunteer at a children’s hospital that treats mutilated, abused, and abandoned children. The children are so happy despite their physical conditions and people cannot understand this. One volunteer states: it’s not what we give them, it’s what they give us. They give us a reason to live. The joy of living is what the kids have. Many young people do not have a purpose and meaning of their life. Many young people need to experience that this life matters.
For their third experience they travel to Ghana, Africa, and see African people dancing and celebrating life, the joy of life. On their way to visit a leper colony, Jeff and Cliff visit a community where dying AIDS victims live, a mother and her baby, where suffering and death prevail. How do they cope with facing death? Then, at the leper colony, the lepers are looked at as outcasts, segregated from the rest of society. When Jeff asks a leper why do you bother to get up every morning, he responds that Love is what matters, you are my brother, it’s not what’s on the outside that matters, it’s what’s on the inside that matters.
This captivating documentary is very worthwhile. It’s not always easy to watch, but it is rich with joy; featuring commentaries from experts in humanitarian and religious fields. This film zeroes in on what it means to be human and it delivers!
The Human Experience