Emmanuel's Gift Now Playing in Theatres
Los Angeles, California
If you are born disabled in Ghana, West Africa you are likely to be poisoned, or left to die by your family; if you are not poisoned or left for dead, you're likely to be hidden away in a room; and if you're not hidden, you are destined to spend your lifetime begging on the streets. Of the twenty million people in Ghana, two million are disabled. This is the story of one disabled man whose mission -- and purpose -- is to change all that forever.
In "Emmanuel's Gift," filmmakers Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern have uncovered a story as compelling as it is important. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey, the film chronicles the life of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young Ghanaian man born with a severely deformed right leg, who today, against incalculable odds, is opening minds, hearts and doors -- and effecting social and political change throughout his country.
While Emmanuel's message is vital -- People with disabilities are valuable contributors to any society -- his method is inspirational. With only one leg, Emmanuel begins his courageous quest with a 600-kilometer bicycle ride across Ghana, spreading his vision of grit and resolve with each turn of the bike's pedals.
Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern have been documenting Emmanuel's plight for over two years, having shot over 400 hours of powerful footage. The film includes original footage shot in Ghana, California, Oregon and New York, as well as photographs and other acquired film and video of Emmanuel's early years.
Through it all, they have created an intimate insight into the mind and heart of a courageous, awe inspiring, heroic visionary, one whose unforgettable journey transcends continents and cultures to become a vision shared by each of us.
Emmanuel's Gift is now playing in select theatres.
What people are saying about "Emmanuel's Gift":
"Emmanuel's brave struggle to overcome his physical handicap and be recognized as a whole human being in Ghanaian society is heartwarming and uplifting. Emmanuel inspires every witness to his life story to reach for the impossible. 'Emmanuels Gift' is a gift for all humanity." - Muhammad Ali
"A richly textured and deeply moving film. 'Emmanuel's Gift' is a fascinating and important story-beautifully told." - Bob Costas, NBC Sports &HBO
"Nancy Stern and Lisa Lax have produced a wonderful film that is a tribute to the joy and endurance of the human spirit." - Alma Powell, (Wife of former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell)
"How often does it happen that you walk out of a movie theater re-examining the way you live your own life? 'Emmanuel's Gift' is one of those films: inspiring, joyous, immensely powerful. It made me reflect on, among other things, how we over-use the word 'hero' in my line of work." - Austin Murphy, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated
"Considering that twin sisters Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern are responsible for producing, directing and writing 'Emmanuel's Gift,'the quality of work done on it is a given." - Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News
"Disabled Athlete's Life Inspires 'Gift' -- His success has led to introductions to African Kings and United Nations leaders, improvements for the disabled in Ghana and a shift in cultural thinking about the physically impaired." - Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Elevated by Samson Chan's gorgeous digital cinematography, 'Emmanuel's Gift' will bowl auds over..." - Variety
4 Stars - "I'm not sure how directors Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern learned of Emmanuel's story, but the world is a better place because they did, then turned it into this sprawling, remarkable film." - Film Threat
3 Stars - "Beautiful to look at, and the power of one man's example is undeniable." - Austin American Statesman
4 Stars - "This film -- directed by Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern, and narrated by Oprah Winfrey -- serves as a transcendent antidote to the customary cliché." - San Jose Mercury News
"'Emmanuel's Gift' is not to be missed." - Santa Barbara News Press
"Yeboah is the brightest star of the festival." - Santa Barbara News Press
"The one film that all Santa Barbara staffers seem to be behind is the documentary 'Emmanuel's Gift'." - Los Angeles Times