Independent Lens: Blood Brother

About This Episode


Why would someone leave everything behind to devote their life to helping others? Blood Brother is the remarkable story of Rocky Braat, who did exactly that. A young man from a fractured family and a troubled past, Braat went traveling through India without a plan. There he met a group of HIV-positive children living in an orphanage — a meeting that changed everything for him.

Braat left his life, friends, and career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to live with the kids. Filmmaker Steve Hoover was intrigued and unnerved by his best friend’s radical life change. In an effort to find out what compelled him to give up every source of stability in his life, Hoover decided to trace Braat's story, following him to India.

He witnessed Rocky and the kids endure disease, abject poverty, and death. But in the midst of all these troubles, he also saw their deep joy, and came to understand why Rocky had given up everything he had to experience it. Blood Brother is a story of friendship and of life stripped down to its essence.