Saturday, March 14, 2015

Review of Living on One Dollar - Documentary Film by Temple and Ingrasci

Our friend, Doug Noble, was raving about the documentary film Living on One Dollar, which is about four American college students who replicate Guatamela life by living on one dollar a day in a small Guatemala village.  Doug had met the film makers, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci, at Claremont College where the two had shown the film and made a presentation.

We saw the film on Net Flix. It's a very good documentary. It informs viewers of the harsh realities that 1.1 billion people face who live under $1 a day. On such a tight budget, there is barely enough to eat. There is no money for medicine nor for any extraordinary expense. Children have to stop schooling to work. It's a life that's difficult for some of us to imagine, and the film helps us witness that reality.

As bleak as life is, people are creative and, for instance, they pool their money to  to take turns in having a larger sum, which allows people to buy a weaving loom, or equipment, which allows them to earn more.

I'm quoting from a Huffington interview of Temple and Ingrasci:

"We had chosen Guatemala because Chris had worked there on his gap year with a micro-finance organization and fell in love with the country. We knew that one out of two people live under $1 a day in Guatemala and we wanted to focus on rural poverty. We spent two months there and shot these video blogs which ended up getting 600,000 views on YouTube and saw that there was some real strength to this concept. It was a great way of taking our peers along on this journey."

The documentary film was not depressing as one would expect it to be. I felt moved by the plight of the people who were highlighted in the film. Rosa, for instance, who had to give up her dream of becoming a nurse because she had to work. Antonio, who at 24, was the head of a huge household and who, because he had steady income, was in a better position than most, and who was generous enough to lend money when needed.  The four American kids touched and amused me in their youthful pursuit of experiencing and showing this Poverty. They themselves lived off of $1 a day, and had to give up the luxury of eating chicken. They ate mostly rice, beans, and lard instead.

If you can, do watch this film, dear Readers.

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