Very few events in human history have ever brought the world together in a positive way. Josephine “Jo” Chim’s short film, One Small Visit, is about one small moment birthed by Neil Armstrong taking that historic “one small step” on the moon and how it inspired the world.
One Small Visit is the story of an Indian family, O.C. (Vick Krishna) and Nirmala Abraham (Gabriella Sundar Singh), grandmother Elizabeth George (Ellora Patnaik), and toddler Anisha. It’s the middle of the night, and the Abrahams are glued to their brand new (and returnable) television to watch the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Though less than two, even Anisha knew this moment was historic.
Months later, the Abrahams moved to Delaware, where O.C. is attending divinity school. Elizabeth George is now visiting her children on her first trip to America, and they all decide to go on a road trip to visit family in Ohio. Their travels take them through the small town of Wapakoneta, the hometown of Neil Armstrong.
Armstrong superfan Elizabeth George insists the family stop in Wapakoneta and have lunch at a local diner. O.C. is nervous about being around so many Americans that he wants to quickly get in and out and be on their way. But Elizabeth George finagles the address of Neil Armstrong’s parents from the waitress. This turn of events ultimately leads to an unexpected knock on the door at the Armstrong residence.
“Their travels take them through the small town of Wapakoneta, the hometown of Neil Armstrong.”
At the outset, One Small Visit seems like a sweet story of a group of fans meeting the parents of their hero. However, it also gives a small glimpse into race and race relations during the late 60s. O.C. is very suspicious of white Americans as his previous visit to the States was met with bullying and overt acts of racism. He is even more nervous about his mother and wife knocking on the door of complete strangers.
On this particular trip, Elizabeth George naively ventures out into the very white world of New England and the Midwest. She embraces the goodwill that the world is feeling after the moon landing — all too surprising results.
One Small Visit is an optimistic film about America and the steady flow of immigrants entering the U.S. The story lays out beautifully every fear the O.C. has about looking different and that uncomfortable feeling of being the center of attention. O.C.’s fears are then countered by Elizabeth George’s cool and collected perspective of embracing the differences. The film is a commentary about racism in America at that time and offers an optimistic view on the subject without being heavy-handed.
The heart of the story is when Elizabeth George and Nirmala knock on the Armstrongs’ door, and the encounter is both sweet and surprising — no spoilers, see the film. Ellora Patnaik shines bright as Elizabeth George. Her charisma is infectious and put to great use.
One Small Visit is a true story and a testament that there are good people in the world… more than you’d imagine.
For screening information, visit the One Small Visit official website.
"…a testament that there are good people in the world..."