Chesterfield family organizes movie viewing to spread message of kindness

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The movie “Wonder” tells the story of a boy who has severe facial differences and shows how he deals with them and other kids at school.

For one Chesterfield family, the movie’s message to “choose kind” hits home, and it’s a message they want to spread.

The Malkie family has loads of fun together. Their sons, 9-year-old Zak and 11-year-old Van are into video games, stuffed animals and rock climbing.

They were adopted from China when they were babies. Both have cleft palates and have had multiple surgeries.

“If someone’s judging me of how I look, I would just say just accept that I look different than everybody else,” Van said.

Van’s mom Tracey Malkie heard about the movie and decided it is an opportunity to foster acceptance, kindness and understanding.

“Reading ‘Wonder’ was the perfect family activity because it was the perfect book for our family,” Tracey said. “Nobody looks the same, everybody’s different.”

Along with the medical team at St. Mary’s Hospital, Tracey recently organized a special screening of the movie. So, this Saturday, friends and family of people affected by craniofacial issues will converge at Movieland Cinemas in Richmond to watch “Wonder” together.

Zak is eager to see it on the big screen. His 4th Grade class just finished reading the book.

“They ask me what happened to your lip?” Zak said. And while there are often questions, the “choose kind” message resonates with all ages.

Zak said it’s important to choose kindness.

“Because then you don’t make people feel bad,” he said. “And it’s mean to make people feel bad.”

Zak’s dad Scott agrees.

“There’s really a chance for this movie to show people that kindness is always the right answer and the right approach to people with differences,” Scott said.

Many schools are reading “Wonder” in class. It has such a great message for elementary, middle and students of all ages. The movie opens Friday throughout the region.

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