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Angels in the Dust

Hope Springs Eternal

There are currently two million orphans in South Africa. 1.2 million of these orphans have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Current projections indicate that there 25 million children in South Africa will be orphans by 2010. Who will take care of these children? Angels in the Dust is a powerful and moving examination of the Boikarabelo Orphanage in South Africa that provides a home (and hope) for countless orphaned children in Africa.

The woman responsible for the creation of this haven is Marion Cloete. Formerly wealthy and comfortable in a Johannesburg suburb, Marion could no longer stand idly by watching the tragedy of seeing so many children orphaned by AIDS. With love and support of her husband, Marion founded the Boikarabelo Orphanage that provides shelter, food, and education to more than 550 children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

Many of these children not only carry the grief and sadness of having lost their families, but many of them carry the burden of the HIV/AIDS virus or the anxiety of not knowing whether or not they have the HIV/AIDS virus. Amidst this pain and grief, director Louise Hogarth has captured a shining beacon of hope in Angels in the Dust.

While Marion is a remarkable woman for her passionate altruism, the young children in the film are no less inspiring. Far from being crippled by their past and the burden they bear, these children see a future where hope exists. Their smiles, laughter, and moments of joy greatly outnumber the tears of sadness shed. Hogarth poignantly captures these inspiring moments throughout the film.

Hogarth also captures the painful enormity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. 100 million in Africa are projected to be infected with the virus. In South Africa alone, 6 million adults and children are infected. Angels in the Dust sheds glaring light on the fallacies, myths, and the poor education that has helped contribute to this epidemic. Truly, all would appear to be lost were it not for the actions of one like Marion Cloete and her team.

One canít help but be inspired in watching the unwavering love and compassion Marion has for the young orphans she takes into Boikarabelo. Without the love and support of Marion Cloete and the Boikarabelo Orphanage, most of these children would not survive or have a chance of breaking the painful and deadly cycle of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Angels in the Dust is a powerful, poignant, and important documentary that never fails to inspire hope even amidst so much tragedy.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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