RE: [Videolib] Top Twenty Films ever made about Poverty

Doshi, Ameet (
Thu, 4 Aug 2005 09:15:29 -0500

Hi Steve,

Here are a few others:

"Mother India" 1957. (India) - Tells the story of a widow
struggling to feed her family
and survive famine and insurmountable debt.

"Apu Trilogy" (especially "Pather Panchali"). 1955-1959. (India)
Follows the life of a
young boy and his family as they fight against the forces of
poverty in India.



Ameet Doshi
Resident Librarian
College of DuPage
Glen Ellyn, IL
phone: (630) 942-2383

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Steve
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 8:23 AM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Top Twenty Films ever made about Poverty

Top Twenty Films Ever about Poverty

By Steve Fesenmaier with additions from the field Aug. 3, 2005

John Gehner, Coordinator of the ALA- SRRT Hunger, Homelessness &
Poverty Task Force has asked me to create a list of "top 20 greatest
films on poverty." I came up with the following list from my 30+ years
as a professional film exhibitor, critic, etc. Please send me any films
you think should be on the list....documentary or fictional...or
short...or animated...Steve

website -

1. Time of Drunken Horses - Iranian. Incredible poverty of Kurds who
have to get their donkeys drunk to climb mountains

2. Los Olvidados - Bunuel film on street kids of Mexico City

3. Dancing Outlaw - hilarious/sad film on WV dancer Jesco White who is

4. Pixote - Brazilian film in style of Los Olvidados

5. The Pride of Jesse Hallam -Johnny Cash stars in his best film. Poor
family has to leave Ky. for Cincinnati. Also about literacy.

6. The Grapes of Wrath - film version of Steinbeck's Nobel Prize winning

7. Born into Brothels -2004 Oscar winner for best feature documentary

8. Before Night Falls - Oscar nominated film about gay Cuban writer.

9. Vera Drake - great new English film about poverty- and abortion

10. Places in the Heart - Texas poverty, Oscar winning

11. Tree of Wooden Clogs - 1978 Italian film that made Olmi famous

12. Padre, Padrone - 1977film that made Taviani Brothers famous

13. The Promise - Dardenne Brothers from Belgium breakout film. Poor
people from Belgium and around the world struggle in modern Belgium.
"Rosette," another one of their films also won top award at Cannes. Life
of trailer house girl in contemporary Belgium.

14. Misery in the Borinage - 1933. First doc on coal miners by Joris
Ivens in part of Belgium where Van Gogh was a minister before becoming a
painter. True poverty.

15. Midnight Cowboy - Oscar winner about Dustin Hoffman as street

16. Vagabond - 1985. Agnes Varda's film about a young homeless girl.

17. City of Joy- 1992. Patrick Swayze in slumbs of Calcutta.

18. Life and Debt - 2001 doc on how globalization has made poverty
worse in Jamaica.

19. Land without Bread - 1932. Bunuel's only documentary.

20. The Gleaners and I - Anges Varda's documentary about the poor in


Additions from the field

1.. El Norte by Sanford Berman, founder of the Task Force
2.. Darwin's Nightmare - by Paul Nuchims, retired art professor
3.. Bicycle Thief by Susan Grant, Technical Services Manager
Southern Maryland Regional Library
4.. Dry Wood by Les Blank. Black Creole life in Louisiana.
5.. A Well Spent Life by Les Blank, suggested by filmmaker. Life of
bluesman guitarist Mance Lipscomb. Kurt Vonnegut's fav film.
6.. The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, nominated by Susan

send nominations to - Steve Fesenmaier,

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