"The Visitor," a film by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent), is about how an act of kindness can enrich the life of the giver. This is a quiet film about a quiet man. Sixty-two year old economics professor Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins from Six Feet Under) is pretending to work at teaching and writing as he sleep walks through life.
While in New York for a conference, he discovers a couple living in his apartment - victims of a real estate scam. It soon becomes clear that the Syrian musician Tarak (Haaz Sleiman) and his Senegalese girlfriend Zainab (Dani Gurira) have no other place to stay. Walter reluctantly opens his home to them. This unplanned act of kindness changes his life in ways he never expected. Out of gratitude, Tarak introduces Walter to the exuberant world of African drumming. Their shared passion bridges cultural and age gaps connecting the two men. When Tarak is unfairly arrested as an undocumented citizen and held for deportation, Walter is compelled to help this near stranger. Walter finds a purpose and passion in his life that was sorely missing."Kindness as it's own reward" is an important theme for our times. In our busy, self contained world it's easy to forget how good it feels to help another person. I'm grateful to Director Tom McCarthy for reminding me.
Reel Inspiration's mission is to encourage and promote the production and theatrical success of diverse films with entertaining, powerful stories that uplift, challenge, give hope or inspire the human consciousness.