IT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS OF A TINY RIPPLE OF HOPE!
As we speak, festivals are announcing their lineups and the rush is growing to watch as many films as possible. One of Slamdance’s big debuts is the heartfelt documentary A Tiny Ripple of Hope, directed by Jason Polevoi. Meet Jahmal Cole, the speaker and leader of the My Block, My Hood, My City movement: an organization that is currently trying to end the segregation of modern day Chicago, creating opportunities and bringing hope to the city’s teenagers. Throughout a year, we are sucked into Jahmal’s life as he struggles to keep his house and his marriage, as well as his own life, while fighting to keep his dream and mission alive.
A Tiny Ripple of Hope is a film that compels us to take action and feel connected to the people that live next door to us. It arrives exactly in a time of need, after the riots that took place in America a while back, propelling this feeling that hope is the last one standing. While meeting and connecting with Jahmal, we are lead through his daily routine, interacting with neighbors, endorsing his teen explorers, being a good husband and a caring father. And even making a difference in the streets of Chicago, calling out to take action over the violence and drug distribution, he still has strength to preach to powerful people to raise awareness of the difficulties that the African-American community in Chicago faces every day. It is an inspirational journey. One that few films can capture, filled with raw emotion and sense of hope. Polevoi uses simplicity to show that the tiniest gesture can mean a lot to other people, and even though Jahmal has his own problems, he is always there with a smile to encourage the lives he touches to move forward in their search for happiness.
When we see the faces of the young men and women who finally obtain their college application certificates, we immediately see first hand the impact of Jahmal’s efforts, and we simply cannot ignore the power that kindness brings to people that face so many struggles in their daily lives. A Tiny Ripple of Hope is a sweet and profound approach that reflects how society can still rise after so many downfalls it faced throughout its history, absorving the pain and transforming it into an act of love. While Jahmal’s significance will warm your heart, it’s his results that will leave you truly hopeful that there is someone out there who cares, who wants to make a difference, who stands out to protect and defend those who society has mistreated for so long. It may be a simplistic film but it’s its humbleness that strikes you like a high-speed train and not only makes you sympathetic, it also forces you to want to participate in its cause.
A Tiny Ripple of Hope is a personal journey through a soul that touched so many others, and never loses focus of its main goal. Of the many that compliment Jahmal’s rise to become a neighborhood superstar, the most significant and heartwarming ones are reflected in the many looks and smiles of the youngsters he helped, who can finally follow the example of their charismatic leader and become the successful young men and women who they were born to be. A Tiny Ripple of Hope may have “tiny” in its name, but it sure can make a huge difference to all lives that watch it and embrace its cause. Sometimes there is no need for big changes in the usual formula, and all it takes is to have a core that has just the right elements to make you smile at the end of the day.
CineAddiction will have film festival reviews written in English to respect and endorse the festival norms. The Portuguese version will arrive later and will be featured in our social media.
You can follow our coverage of the festivals here.
Title: A Tiny Ripple of Hope
Director: Jason Polevoi
Duration: 96 min.