"4 Generations" Water Buffalo Movie Here

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WATCH 4 GENERATIONS: The Water Buffalo Movie
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“4 Generations” is a film short documenting my journey in southwestern China (near Tibet) to first find, then deliver a water buffalo to a poor family. The water buffalo led us to a family with an phenomenal story. Inspired by author, educator, and founder of photo.net, Philip Greenspun’s post, and donated by Philip and his friend Craig.

View the Trivia & Facts, FAQ, Comments, Photo Gallery.

146 thoughts on “"4 Generations" Water Buffalo Movie Here

  1. Your video was posted on our neighborhood listserve here in Oakland, CA (where you apparently grew up??)…. news on the listserve tends to be on the negative side, but this just brightened my day :-) tears and all! Thanks for sharing and for caring!

  2. I just watched this movie with my 12 year old son and I want to thank you. Little can pull our westernised children from the capitalist wanting wanting wanting. My son had a revelation about the so called value of all the things he ‘wants’ when he saw the value of what someone actually needs.

    Thank you

  3. Nice pointer Jane. I know a few who could use such a lesson, starting with myself.

    And thanks for the pointer to the FAQ Bob. I hope you do get a follwo up video made. I hope all goes well for them.

    Perhaps other projects like these learn a lesson in the value of documenting and authenticity.

    Next time – how about the gift being anonymous some how? A community member is asked to do the giving, and another to do the documenting…

  4. My niece has been living in China since August.
    She writes home about how poor the people are, and how important it is to reach out and find ways to help the Chinese people. This film shows a perfect example of how it can be done.

  5. What a beautiful story! I cried for the thoughtfulness of the gift and the gratitude in the faces of the women. What an inspiration to do the same right here at home in America.

  6. Chapeau!

    I love your playing and missed it.
    Thank you for the inspiration. I hope that it inspires others to “pay it forward”.

  7. I deeply disliked your video. You use it as a showcase of your ‘art’ (music, film, ‘story’). Particularly disgraceful: your hand on the old woman while you’re telling us about “the magnitude” of your own gift. You have no clue how people live. You are the only blind person here, really.

  8. Thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to show this to my students and have them blog on it themselves! May God continue to bless you and your wife with generosity and abounding love.

  9. Wow, God is so good. This really touched my heart! Thank you for being obedient to God and blessing others with the resources he provides.

  10. How beautiful! I will certainly share this with my students. If you have time, please contact me; I’d like for my students (7th and 8th graders in Santa Clara, California) to get a message from the person who made the movie. It might make watching this yet more powerful for them.

  11. Thank you for the beautiful, thought-provoking movie. I shared it with my students and I’m passing it on.

    I’ve read a couple entries and it sounds like people are looking for a way to give in a like manner – my daughter and I “buy a goat” for a family every year through _Heifer International_. I feel like it’s a remarkable program; the best thing is is that the receipients of the goat (or ox, or heifer . . . ) pass on the offspring to other community members. Check it out.

    Thank you again for putting your fingerprint on my heart. So moving.

  12. Thank you Robert..It’s remarkable, some of the most inspirational content I’ve ever seen..

  13. Interesting that the day you filmed the delivery of the buffalo, January 6th, is a day on the Christian calendar, commonly known as “Three Kings’ Day”, or Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of the Magi, bearing gifts, at Bethlehem.

  14. This was a VERY uplifting story. I would love to donate personally to this person as you would know exactly where it was going. A wonderful suggestion would be to find neighbors who could have a male and a female water buffalo that could produce young and possibly help the whole community free as they do with the offsrping from the goats in the comment above.

  15. We feel very lucky to live in Canada. Watching the granddaughter who has no toys or wasn’t given hundreds of dollars in toys still seems very happy.

  16. Robert,

    Have you thought of using chipin.com to collect money from people who want direct and active giving to go directly to the families that need it most? You can quickly set up a Chipin widget and collect money not only on your own webiste, but also have all 74 people who commented put up the fundraising widget on their site. All monies can go directly to a Paypal account. Chipin charges no fees if you choose this payment option. I am happy to tell you more.

    You can read a great case study on our system at: http://widgetfundraising.org about how a woman used our system to raise money to send a young girl in Cambodia to school.



  17. Dear Robert: To bring yourself to the sources of life that often go unnoticed in the roar of the race of this time is what many strive to do. Thank you for showing the way. You did it. You are doing it. The water buffallo is a friend to the family, a savior and an inspiration to the farmer. I have worked with so so many refugees in South East Asia who look to the water buffallo as their purpose and their reason for living. So many farmers have sold their land to simply live. The famlies age and watch as the machines replace their buffallo ,as the young generation turns to the big city. The truth is that so so many farmers need hope and the confidence of being able to WORK. Simple as that. Work. A buffallo does that. I have to tell you it is my favorite domestic animal. You know how to make music.

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  19. This is such a great movie.

    I love water buffaloes. They signify magnificence and great love.

    your movie is touching and generous.

    Thank you for creating it. It helps me along on my path today.

  20. Wow, I cried as I watched and was so grateful for the Teacher who sent this site forward for us all. What a beautiful lesson. We will be responding with a donation so other families may know the joy of this kind of love and know there are people who care! God bless them and all the folks that made this possible. P.S. The buffaloes are so majestic!

  21. Robert,

    My class just watched the water buffalo story. Some kids comments: I liked it because Robert felt sorry for people who could not buy a water buffalo. Robert was not selfish. He did a good job of helping. We learned that our culture is different from the one in Yunnan. Our parents work at jobs and get money, but in Yunnan they don’t have jobs so they can use a water buffalo to help them survive. We speak in English and they speak in Chinese. We heard them say. Xie xie which means thank you.

    Xie Xie for making the story available.

    Mr. Smith’s Class

  22. Kiddo;

    So proud. I’m glad it’s not disrespectful to cry in front of your laptop screen.

    Xie xie wo_de pengyou. Thanks nephew.

    Uncle Rico

  23. Awesome, awesome story. What a difference one individual can make. It restores my faith in humanity and the good that we are capable of.

  24. This doc is VERY well done, especially for a first timer! Jerked a few tears out of me. The criticism of Hieffer Int. is understandable, but perhaps a bit unfair. They should probably make fuller disclosure of how they use donations.

    The key now is follow up. Will the family actually do better? I hope the bank does not go after the buffalo to get its money back.

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  26. I heard the interview on CBC today and was moved. This, I find to be the power of sharing a story. When we share our stories of what we care about, things happen. Thank you for sharing your story. I will do what I can to make other things happen.
    From a production perspective, it was simple, sincere, authentic, and beautiful…thank you.
    Sincerely yours, Celes Davar

  27. Great thing you did for that family. What bothers me is some of the coments I read on “how much is that bufallo in the window”. It just shows how little people in North America know about the rest of the world. Buying “Equipment” to plow the field??? People obviously never saw how a rice paddy is plowed with a Water Bufallo , some kind of harness and a crude plow fashioned from a piece of wood.

  28. Hey Robert,

    What a good thing to do, it does show us that in our own (sometimes out of the blue) way, we can make a difference… a big difference.
    It would be worthwhile to follow up from time to time over the years to see how the gift of the buffalo has made a difference to the family.
    How long (if at all) will it be used to plow a field, or perhaps it will be sold to pay off their debt or even eaten. In any case it does have the potential to earn them a higher subsistance. Somehow the whole gesture does make sence and resonates about the disparity between our material wealth in the west and the need to simply share. How fortunate that you responded to the blog, and I wonder where will all of this will lead you.
    Happy Fiddlin’

  29. BRAVO! Now what? Read some of the email, there are many peole willing to help, but with the discouragement of many organizations and government, feel distrustful and discouraged. Can you email me back for some ideas?

  30. David, I created a page here outlining some things people can do if they want to donate in a monetary way.

    But I think the fundamental issue here is this: you don’t need the assistance of any organization to lend a helping hand. It just a little of your time and energy. Whether it’s someone on the other side of the planet or just down the street, anything is possible, especially with the internet and blogs.

    What is touching people is that this gift actually changed someone’s life (and I got to witness it firsthand). I’m sure you can come up with some ideas on how you can help others. Good luck.

  31. Hello!
    What a magical concept and beautiful movie. These initiatives are the answer to so many people’s life struggles and otherwise impossible dreams.
    I am a Canadian who has lived and volunteered in Kerala State, India for eight months. During that time, I became very good friends with a destitute Indian family. I have been financially helping them in the past two years, but this has been difficult as I work in the non-profit sector. Does anyone have any ideas on how to connect this wonderful, loving desperately poor family with help? I am not a business-minded person, but I know there must be a way to help them. My support alone isn’t enough to help them get out of their constant cycle of debt and dispair. Please write to me if you have any ideas. taraonthego@hotmail.com
    Sincerely and with grattitude,
    Tara Jordan
    Campbell River, BC

  32. hi – i listened to the interview on cbc yesterday and viewed the documentary today. the whole thing must have been a heartwarming experience for you. it certainly was for us. many thanks. brian.

  33. Oh my god what a awesome thing to do i think im goi8ng to raise money to get like three buffaloes thats so cool what this guy did god bless him and that little family.

    Beijing dude in awe

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