Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Passion for Giving Documentary Review

A Passion for Giving (2009) is a unique look at why people give. Director, producer, and cinematographer Robin Melanie Leacock heads out with her camera to answer the question through enlightening and fun interviews. Intertwining joyful music, thought provoking quotes, attentive narration, and additional footage with the interviews ties everything together into an excellent film.

Alexandre de Lesseps discusses the reasons for his humanitarian work in Burma while representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama offer their wisdom. Millennium Promise CEO, Jeff Flug, talks of how many people live on a dollar a day; we also hear from Doctors Without Borders that offer immunizations and other services in those regions. Other notable interviewees are Fran Lebowitz, Richard Branson, Darryl McDaniels (DMC), and John Sykes. In addition, with more importance in my opinion, are talks with everyday people about the acts of kindness they perform along with the benefactors of their giving. An emotional talk with a man on the streets of New York shows his loss of hope that no one is willing to help. Animals are also in need of help and there are wonderful segments on the subject.

Did you know an entire village of 160 dwellings can be built in Burma for $15,000 USD? Thinking about that is truly astounding; although a lot of money for most, it isn't much when many people donate small amounts. Equally important is donating time to programs such as Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity (both organizations I have had the pleasure to work with and highly recommend spending a day with them).

9 out of 10 - This is a very well done documentary that brings you into the minds of those that give and introduces us to the amount of organizations and people trying to make a difference. It is not a call to action or solicitation, just a pure look at the passion for giving; although, it has made me want to give more. You can watch the premier on PBS in November in the NY area on 11/7 and again on 11/21 on stations WLIW and WNET, respectfully.