Over the past couple years, we've been asked to review many independent films. As film-fanatics we always go in with positive attitudes. Sadly, we don't always come out of each experience feeling so positive.
I recently had the great pleasure of kicking back and watching David Gaz's film Good Virus, Kindness is Contagious. For the first time in a while I found myself smiling throughout an entire movie! This documentary is the definition of 'feel-good-flick'.
The purpose of Good Virus is:
1) to illustrate that—contrary to what you may see, hear and read in the news—kindness is all around us (THE GOOD) and 2), to inspire people to spread that kindness (THE VIRUS). Good Virus is all about the small things, tiny acts of kindness that don’t cost a lot of money or oblige praise. The essential premise of this project is that many small acts of kindness may make more of a difference than a few big ones.
We are asking people two surprisingly difficult questions:
1) What is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for you?
2) What is the nicest thing that you have done for someone else?
The goal of the project is to assemble an archive of hundreds (or even thousands) of nice acts, then to present this archive in the form of a book and a film with the express intention of creating a laundry list of kind acts in order to inspire people to be aware of the kindness that is all around them, induce the aforementioned transcendental state and inspire people to likewise be kind to others. GoodVirus
I asked David Gaz a couple questions and here's what he had to say:
1. What inspired you to create this film?
My wife was telling me that all my projects (although still being social commentaries) were very dark in nature and she was worried that it was affecting my happiness. She suggested that I start looking at the positive things around us, so, being an extreme person, I decided to do a film all about being nice!!!!
2. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
When I graduated from college, I had a job offer in San Francisco, but knew no one there. So I drove up with all my things in my car (including an 8ft boa constrictor) and started working with the intention to live in my car until I collected my first paycheck and then find a place to live.
Well on my second day at work, one of my classmates went to apply at the place I was working and asked me where I was staying. I told him my plan, and Erik Adigard, the creative director, over heard me from behind my cubicle. He immediately offered to put me up at his house (I accepted) and then, right after I moved my stuff in, went to Paris for a month. I was blown away, not only by his generosity, but by his trust.
He has since become one of my best friends and my mentor (not to mention the godfather to my son).
And it gets better. After I moved out, he had a friend, named Carlos, who was visiting from Paris, who needed a place to stay and I let his Carlos stay in an empty room at my new place (rent free of course, inspired by Erik).
When Carlos moved out, he offered to return the favor and let me stay with him in Paris rent free. I accepted, and wound up living in Paris for the next seven years (only six months or so with Carlos though).
Living in Paris was one of the most formative things in my life! So it's kind of a Good Virusey story. How one good deed by my friend Erik entirely changed my life and the way that I look at the world!!!!
Awesome. So great to have the filmmaker himself answer these questions!
Last year we lost a very dear friend of ours, Tammy. It was sudden and tragic and left us devastated. During the funeral, friends and family all spoke about her kindness and generosity. It was her sister's words that impacted me the most. Her sister spoke about the many times her and her sister would frequent the Tim Hortons drive-thru (the most popular coffee hot-spot for Canadians). Tammy would reach the window and pay for her coffee, and also pay for the person behind her. Tammy told her sister that performing this random act of kindness made her feel good, and hoped it would inspire the people she touched to pay it forward.
There are days, on my way to work, that I think of Tammy while grabbing my morning coffee. I pull up to the window and pay it forward just like Tammy did. It feels good to be nice.
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