Updated: Mar 27
I happened to watch the movie “The Kindness Of Strangers” on Amazon Prime in mid January 2021. It was listed under “movies we think you may like” which a lot of times is a reason for me not to watch. Since the title intrigued me I thought I would check it out for 5 minutes or so which is usually how long it takes to tell whether I will enjoy watching the rest of the movie. Normally I start snoozing 5 minutes into the film...naturally I ended up watching this film all the way through.
The first hour and a half of the movie is really difficult to watch at times. The film is essentially about six individuals living in NYC who are all down on their luck and face significant personal challenges although primarily focuses on a young mother and her adorable young sons who are trying to escape a physically abusive husband/father by driving from Buffalo to Manhattan. Due to chance, or in my view the work of the Holy Spirit, the lives of these six individuals intersect at just the right time when they need a helping hand. Ultimately they each realize through individual acts of kindness to strangers they can indeed make a difference in the lives of others which ultimately gives meaning and purpose to their own lives. While most critics have absolutely crushed the film with an overall favorable rating of only 18% (which led to meager box office $s), here is one critics review that was favorable: “This film grabs you from the first scene and carries you to the very last. Every character is portrayed with total believability. Domestic violence, mental illness, broken lives...are shown with dignity and compassion. An uplifting reminder of the simple, healing power of kindness and second chances.”
The audience on the other hand absolutely loves it with an overall rating on Amazon of 4.5 stars out of 5. Here is one representative favorable review.
“Outstanding acting and writing. Disregard critic reviews of this movie. The script feels original and acting has great depth. They seem to spend the first 45 to 60 minutes of the movie introducing you to handful of characters that are down in on their luck, in ways that are very real to many people. The second half of the movie draws these different characters together showing how simple acts of kindness can impact others in huge ways, setting lives on a better course. Love that they have a cast full of actors that appear to be lesser known (except for Bill Nighy). A wonderful surprise to find this gem on Amazon prime.”
The parallel to what The Success Foundation is doing (in addition to our good friends and partners with Fostering Acadia and Children’s Home Society) on behalf of the young adults we serve is obvious. To quote Kris Williams in his above review: “simple acts of kindness can impact others in huge ways, setting lives on a better course”.
Many thanks to all of the members of Teams TSF, FA and CHS for your "daily acts of kindness" to the young adults we serve...who after only one introductory Zoom meeting we learn are no longer strangers but indeed amazingly resilient young adults who through no fault of their own have been traumatized and only need a helping hand and kind words of support to give them hope and make a difference in their lives.
Gary S Powers, TSF Executive Director