Smile Pinki

I recently saw a remarkable short documentary entitled Smile Pinki. It tells the story of two poverty-stricken young children (one a girl named Pinki) in India who are born with clefts and have the opportunity to receive free surgery to fix their condition. It is incredibly moving. I’m not the only one who feels that way — the movie is getting a lot of attention.

I watched it with my children. They’ve never seen anyone with a cleft, because in the United States, every baby born with the condition gets surgery within a few months. Only one of my four children (Nicholas) expressed the revulsion that many adults feel when seeing children with clefts. The other three were transfixed by what they saw and watched from beginning to end. If they hadn’t been paying so much attention to the screen, they would have had the chance to see something they have never seen before: tears coming from their dad’s eyes.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find so much as a trailer online, or any way that a person could buy or rent it. Do any blog readers know how someone could watch the documentary at home?


It looks so good... its sort of unfair its not available for viewing!


it won the oscar..... great !!!


i'm a journalist from india. of course, by now we all know Smile Pinki has won an Oscar. though i've never been involved with the Smile Train, the movie -- and its victory -- feel like a personal achievement.

i was born with a cleft lip and went through three surgeries to look the way i do now.

loved your piece...

DR Mahesh Prabhu India

I am a Plastic Surgeon and have been associated with The Smile Train since 2002 and have operated over 2000 clefts
when this documentary was screened During the Annual Conference of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India
it brought tears to my eyes (and to most of the delegates)
hats off to the makers of this wondeful documentary
they have picked up the human aspect of this subject so very nicely and made it so touching
hope the policy makers in the so called developing countries are waching such documentaries (they ought to since it has won an Oscar)
Mahesh Prabhu


Lovely review of Smile Pinki with trailer and main references to reviews at


my daughter was born with a cleft lip last november. we found out about it in a routine ultrasound at 20 weeks. i worried so much about it before hand but once she was born, i found it to be so endearing! she had surgery at 2.5 months and has a small scar that will probably not even be noticable by the time she's a year old. we are so lucky to live in a country where surgery is affordable and available.

smile pinki is airing on HBO in june! you should definitely check it out:


I just caught the last few minute of this documentary on HBO and as soon as the credits rolled, I had to research the film. I'm about to start it from the beginning to catch the whole thing and then tell everyone I know to watch it. I was instantly charmed by these children and I loved that the first thing the doctors did was get the kids to smile or laugh. Special children, special doctors and a magical result.

Mindi Komarinski

I had a baby that was born with a cleft lip and palate in April of 2008. She had her lip surgery and her palate fixed already. Thank God we live where we do because you see children like Pinki and they don't always get the surgery they need or they are isolated. It is so sad. But when she was born we were afraid of how people would react to her but thankfully we have doctors who can fix these problems.


I received the DVD of 'Smile Pinki' in the post today. Now I am wondering if all those people who were looking for copies may have managed to find one by now.

I'm not sure why it was sent except, perhaps, because I have made a small contribution in the past. Seeing these children can make anyone feel as if they should do something to help. I think this is particularly so if one has been able and prepared to pay for dental treatment so they can confidently smile,

The letter with the DVD suggests that if extra copies are required for friends/family to let them know and they will be happy to send them. Perhaps anyone who is still looking can write to Smile Train in the UK. There may even be an email address.


I loved this documentary because it shows how Smile Train Is All About Outcomes ! This organization helps children like this all over the world. Life changing stuff. More people should donate to this charity so that more children can be helped every day!