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A Small Act Details

  • Runtime: 1 hr. 28 min.
  • Genres: Documentary


Two people separated by continents and cultures are linked by an act of generosity that changed a life for the better in this documentary. Chris Mburu was born to a Kenyan family mired in poverty, and in a nation where families must pay for their children to attend school, his academic history would have ended early if it weren't for Hilde Back. Back was a schoolteacher from Sweden who, through a charitable organization, donated $15 a month to support Mburu's schooling. Back and Mburu knew little about one another, but her small monthly stipend allowed him to finish school with excellent marks, and he went on to receive a degree from Harvard and became a lawyer. Today, Mburu works for the United Nations as part of a legal team that battles discrimination and genocide through the courts, but he hasn't forgotten the village where he was born or the donations that made his success possible. Mburu has established a scholarship foundation to help young people in the Third World continue their education, and the foundation has been named for Hilde Back as a reminder of the positive consequences of small acts of compassion. Filmmaker Jennifer Arnold tells Chris Mburu's remarkable true-life story and records the first meeting between him and his benefactor Hilde Back in the documentary A Small Act, which received its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi



Lisa Heller
Tyler Hubby
Joan Huang
Executive Producer
Sheila Nevins
Executive Producer

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