Becoming Family: A Tsunami Relief Documentary

memorial sculpture
A small coastal village’s tsunami memorial to the 136 people who died there. (

I remember attending a five-college production of Richard III years ago and being struck by the dynamic lead actor Rahmi Mowjood. He brought Shakespeare’s portrayal of a bitter, power-hungry royal to life. Mowjood went on to complete medical school, and recently worked with filmmaker Carl Strecker to produce a documentary recording the efforts of U.S. physicians, including himself, who flew to Sri Lanka to provide medical relief in the months following the tsunami. Becoming Family: A Tsunami Relief Documentary premiered at the South Asian International Film Festival in NY this fall. An upcoming screening is on December 25 in Los Angeles (details).

Six months after a devastating tsunami hit South Asia on December 26, 2004, Muslim-American and Sri Lankan born Dr. M. Rahmi Mowjood led a team of American doctors and medical students on a relief trip to Sri Lanka to provide medical attention to the villagers injured and traumatized by the tsunami. During the trip, Dr. Mowjood mentored the students through the emotionally draining relief work, shared the hospitality of his Sri Lankan family with the team, and in a surprise announcement, married the Sri Lankan woman he’d fallen in love with six months earlier. Shot on location in the southern villages of Sri Lanka.

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December 3, 2006
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